Los Angeles News
'Anti-Swatting' Bill Is Approved By Senate
By Shelby Stiner
Jun 13, 2013 - 12:49:49 AM
LOS ANGELES—A state legislative committee approved a bill Tuesday, June 11, to end a new prank call trend known in the area as “swatting."
Sen. Ted Lieu author of the 'anti-swatting' bill.
Swatting is when false 911 emergencies are reported, normally at the homes of celebrities. Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez, and The Kardashians have all fallen victim to the false reports, all of which were reports of a violent crime causing large-scale responses by police.
The newly approved bill will require the callers of the false emergencies to reimburse the police department for the cost of responding to the hoax.
“To those who engage in this dangerous practice, be aware this is not a game and you will be held responsible for all associated costs,” said Senator Ted Lieu, sponsor of the bill.
Lieu also fell victim to a swatting call in April when someone posing as the senator reported to police that he shot his wife in their Torrance home.
According to Lieu, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and other city police departments have spent thousands of dollars responding to the false reports, ranging from a few thousand dollars to over $10,000.
“Law enforcement wants this bill and, frankly, the public needs this to not only be safer, but protect their taxpayer dollars from being wasted,” Lieu said.
The bill has already been approved by the Senate and will be reviewed by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
A hearing date has not been set.
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