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More celebrities SWAT-ted; meanwhile, anti-Brett Kimberlin bloggers still under fire

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By Michelle Malkin  •  April 8, 2013 02:46 PM

The troubling trend of celebrity “SWATting” incidents has not abated. KPCC reports on the latest victims:

The “swatting” phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down. The LAPD has sent officers to the homes of at least ten celebrities in recent months in response to prank calls about crimes being committed. There were four such incidents just last week; a psychologist blames a “lack of empathy” for the rich and famous.

On Friday the LAPD sent officers to Justin Timberlake’s Hollywood Hills home after a call came in of shots fired there by four black men. Less than two hours later, police rushed over to Tarzana after a 911 caller said someone had been killed inside Selena Gomez’s home. Both calls were pranks.

On Thursday, a bogus call sent officers to the Pacific Palisades home of Rihanna, and on Wednesday it was rapper Sean Combs’ mansion in Toluca Lake.

Police don’t always send a SWAT team in response to these calls, but the term “swatting” has come to identify these incidents.

The way it works is someone contacts 911 to report a serious crime or threat. The prankster uses a phone, a TTY phone for the deaf, reroutes the call through the Internet, or sends in a text or email.

It’s got the LAPD tied up in frustrated knots at chasing fake crimes. Chief Charlie Beck wagged his finger at the suspected prankster in October when Ashton Kutcher’s house was swatted.

“This is an under-policed city,” Beck said. “This is a city that has scarce police resources and to waste them on crank calls…affects everybody and so people should be upset about that.”

It’s not just a stupid “prank” that costs tax dollars. It’s an insidious, privacy-invading tactic that puts innocent lives in danger.

Last spring, the terror-inducing phenomenon came to national light after brave bloggers blew the whistle. Conservative bloggers and activists rallied behind the victims of left-wing convicted domestic terrorist Brett Kimberlin and his cabal.

A year later, the survivors of those SWATting attacks are still fighting for their security and free speech rights.

*To be clear, I am not connecting the Hollywood SWATtings to the swattings against the bloggers. The point is that it’s the same reckless tactic. While the celeb targets will get much more media and law enforcement attention, the non-famous targets have struggled under the radar screen to get their cases and voices heard in a sustained way.*

The latest in SWATting victim Aaron Walker’s saga is here. Aaron’s wife was recently harassed by thugs who continue to take and post photos of Aaron and his wife. The Maryland prosecutor’s callous response:

“If you’re so concerned about your safety, don’t come to Maryland.”

Patterico, my friend and the intrepid blogger who did ground-breaking reporting last year after he and his family were victimized by the SWATters, weighs in here.

Aaron Walker doesn’t have to go to Maryland to be stalked.

“If you’re so concerned about your safety, don’t come to Maryland.”

It’s hard for me to envision how a comment like this from a prosecutor can be appropriate.

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