City Council Fights Back Against Swatting
Posted by Alex Nochez on Nov 12, 2013 - 4:32:39 AM
LOS ANGELES — A motion that combats the perpetrators of “swatting” was given final approval by the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday, November 6.
LAPD SWAT team
Motion 13-0430 was authored by Councilman Paul Koretz, who presented the motion in April. The new ordinance is designed to amend Section 19.123 of the Los Angeles Administrative Code, which itself allows the City Council to offer rewards that lead to the arrest of “the willful misconduct of one or more persons,” according to the Administrative Code.
Koretz's motion would specifically state that the council can offer rewards involving the arrests of the perpetrators of “swatting,” which is a prank that grew popular last year that had SWAT teams respond to false emergency calls at various homes.
If signed by the mayor, who has until November 18 to do so, the motion would add Subpart C to Subsection B of Section 19.123.
The motion also included a requirement that the perpetrators of a “swatting” call would be forced to pay the expenses of the resources used in the emergency response.
A report from City Attorney Mike Feuer noted that Sate law, specifically Penal Code Sections 148.3 and 653x, already allow public agencies to recover the cost of expenses from those found guilty of using emergency responders under a false pretense.
Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) authored a similar bill that would fine swatting perpetrators up to $10,000 to recover the cost of the emergency call. The bill, SB333, was signed into law in September.
Both Councilman Koretz and Senator Lieu were the targets of swatting pranks. Other high-profile victims of the prank include singer Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Simon Cowell, Justin Beiber, Sean Combs and Russell Brand.