David Hogg‘s family home was targeted by trolls in a dangerous way, according to ABC News. The Parkland activist’s house in Florida was targeted by a “swatting” hoax attempt, which means someone called law enforcement about the address in an effort to get a fully equipped police SWAT team dispatched.
According to ABC News, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said an individual called authorities around 8:39 a.m. on Tuesday, June 5, claiming that someone was barricaded inside the home. SWAT officers responded, but found no one home because, as ABC News reported, David was out of town with his family in Washington, D.C., where March for Our Lives was set to be awarded with a Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.
“It’s not going to take our focus off what we’re super excited about; the March for Our Lives bus tour to get young people to vote and promote gun law reform,” David told ABC News. He characterized the incident as a “silly prank.”
But the “prank” can have deadly consequences, as CBS News reported in January. In that case, a 28-year-old was shot and killed by police in Wichita, Kansas, after a caller from Los Angeles impersonated the 28-year-old, pretending he was holding the victim’s family hostage.
“The people who perpetrate this are looking for a tactical response,” FBI Special Agent in Charge John Bennett told CBS News. “They want to see armed officers, they want to see a bomb, dogs, helicopters — that’s all part of the fun they see in this and that can be very, very devastating.” Given what is known about the high number of police-involved shootings, prompting cops to make a tactical response to anyone’s home is dangerous.
David has been one of the most visible activists to have survived the February 14 shooting at his alma mater, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He has previously been the subject of conspiracy theories and had his picture used as a shooting target.
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