Marjorie Taylor Greene and Brandon Williams have been targeted by callers to police falsely reporting shootings at their homes
Two US House Republicans, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Brandon Williams, have been targeted with fake reports of shootings at their homes on Christmas in apparent attempts to trigger potentially violent altercations with police.
The so-called ‘swatting’ calls were placed on Monday as Greene and Williams were celebrating Christmas with their families at their homes in Georgia and New York, respectively. In both cases, the callers falsely claimed that there had been a shooting at the lawmaker’s address. Such calls are typically placed to trigger a forceful police response, possibly by a SWAT team, to a supposedly dangerous crime scene.
Greene said she has now been swatted eight times, and the FBI has been unable to track down the callers. “The FBI can do so many things, has even abused FISA to spy on hundreds of thousands of Americans, but cannot figure out who wants me killed by a hail of bullets fired by a SWAT team responding to murder-suicide calls supposedly coming from me,” the Congresswoman said. “Thankfully, my local police are far too smart, know me well, and know exactly what these swatting calls are.”
Police spokeswoman Kelly Madden told CNN that an unknown man had called the suicide prevention hotline, claiming that he shot his girlfriend at Greene’s address.
Williams said his home was swatted on Monday afternoon. “Thanks to the deputies and troopers who contacted me before arriving,” he said. “They left with homemade cookies and spiced nuts. Merry Christmas everyone!”
Swatting calls have led to multiple deaths in the US, such as an April 2020 case in which a Tennessee man was fatally shot by police responding to a false report. He had been targeted by a teenager who coveted his Twitter handle and was trying to extort him. A Kansas man was killed by police in 2017, after a 911 caller reported that he had shot his father and was holding remaining family members hostage.
Former White House aide Steve Bannon was swatted last year, when heavily armed police stormed his home in response to a false report. He blamed Democrat President Joe Biden of triggering such behavior by fomenting hatred of his political enemies. “The White House is trying to use this type of violence. They’re stirring up unstable people on the far left to do this.” He added that political foes were essentially trying to get him and Greene “assassinated using law enforcement.”
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