CALIFORNIA—A man is under suspicion of “swatting,” after making a 911 phone call, claiming to hold hostage a Black Lives Matter activist, along with her family member.
“Swatting” refers to the act of calling armed police officers to an area, based on a false emergency, which has the potential of turning deadly.
According to the LAPD, when the unnamed man was asked by a dispatcher why he was holding them hostage, he said he wants to “send a message.” When the dispatcher asked what the message is, he replied “BLM is a bunch of retards.”
When the dispatcher inquired as to how long the man plans to remain at the residence, he responded “You guys are obviously going to secure a perimeter.” He would go on to demand a million dollars, threatening to kill his supposed hostages, if he didn’t get the money within the hour.
Before hanging up the phone, he said he would start shooting his hostages.
The activist, supposedly being held hostage, was Melina Abdullah, who livestreamed herself on Instagram, once she realized that LAPD vehicles had descended in front of her residence. Eventually, she went outside to speak to the authorities, informing them that her family was, in fact, not being held hostage. They left there soon after.
Abdullah, who has long been a critic of the LAPD, and their handling of matters pertaining to police brutality, was actually concerned for their safety, because of what could happen in the midst of a “swatting” incident.
After everything occurred, authorities denounced the caller’s actions, stating that their Major Crimes Division is investigating the situation.
However, no arrests have been made, and no charges have been filed.
Abdullah would question the police response, asking “If it was a man holding us hostage, why were guns trained on me?” She continued, “They need to look at their own policies. A prank call is a prank call, and it’s hugely problematic. However, I am more concerned with how LAPD treated me and my children, and how they traumatized our entire street.”