Man sentenced to 15 month prison sentence over fatal swatting
The incidents of swatting have always been a dangerously stupid stunt, no one can really deny that. The practice involves doxxing, or personally identifying someone online, and then calling in false reports to police to hopefully illicit a militarized response against the target for the harassment. The natural conclusion of this behavior happened in 2017 when a swatting against a completely innocent person resulted in a fatality. Casey Viner was sentenced to 15 months in prison and restricted from gaming activity for two years due to his involvement in the fatal Call of Duty swatting incident in 2017 (via NBC News).
28 year old Andrew Finch was the victim in this case, after police were mistakenly called to his home late in the year. Andrew Finch of Wichita, Kansas was shot and killed by police on December 28th after a false report caused an anxious cop to open fire. The false call also included a claim that the perpetrator allegedly holding the family hostage had killed a man in an argument. This of course led to police coming into the situation expecting violence, and with the heavily militarized state of US policing, this outcome of death was inevitable for swatting.
Here’s the timeline of events for those wondering. In Ohio, Casey Viner was playing Call of Duty: WW2 against Wichita resident Shane Gaskill, but Viner lost. Viner then recruited infamous swatter Tyler Barris to attempt to illicit some revenge over the loss. The swatting was initiated by two Call of Duty: WW2 players who lost a wager match that had a measly $1.50 USD on the line. Barris was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role as the primary instigator, with Viner receiving a 15 month sentence.
That means they attempted to intimidate and injure someone over a minuscule amount of money, in short, they’re scum. And frankly, a 15-month prison sentence will be controversial. The US prison system is notoriously brutal, overcrowded, and prone to corruption and negligence. The relatively short sentence does serve as a punishment, but some people will no doubt feel like the punishment is harsh enough. The sentence evokes a conversation about whose really to blame as well, as it’s hard to say that the act was intentional manslaughter.
This is certainly not the first time swatting has hit the headlines. Popular streamers, gaming personalities, and anyone who has a public presence online has been at risk for this asinine behavior. Fortnite World Cup champion Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf was swatted while streaming the battle royale game live on Twitch. And these are just two of thousands of incidents of this violent trend. And it needs to stop.
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