Call of Duty swatter receives 20 years in prison

    
137

The so-called Call of Duty swatter, Tyler Barriss, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his 2017 swatting call that resulted in the death of an innocent father of two. The sentence comes following the 26-year-old California man pleading guilty to “a total of 51 charges related to fake calls and threats,” the most infamous of which was made “following a dispute between two online players over a $1.50 bet in the Call of Duty: WWII video game,” which sent Wichita, Kansas, police to the house of 28-year-old father of two Andrew Finch, who was unrelated in any way to the dispute but was fatally shot by the police officer responding to the call.

Although the 20-year sentence is the minimum allowed by Barriss’s plea deal, the Associated Press notes that it is nevertheless “well over the 10 years recommended under sentencing guidelines,” and to date it is the “longest prison sentence ever imposed” for swatting. U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren, who passed the sentence, said that the case veered into “uncharted legal territory'” and that “the law has not caught up with technology and the charges didn’t address the severity of what happened.” The family of the victim has also sued the city of Wichita and the officers involved in Finch’s death, though prosecutors have declined to charge the officer.

The player who put Barriss up to the task, Casey Viner of North College Hill, Ohio, and the intended victim, Wichita resident Shane Gaskill — who provided Finch’s address to Barriss via Twitter alongside a taunt to “try something” — have both been charged as co-conspirators. Both have pleaded not guilty, though Viner is apparently planning to change that plea and Gaskill’s trial was delayed to later April “amid plea talks with federal prosecutors.”

We’ve been covering this story since it first broke in 2017; here’s the whole chronology:

Source: Associated Press. Thanks, Bruno!
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Freddy
Reader
Freddy

Goood.

xpsync
Reader
xpsync

WOW! GOOD! Need to make an example and lets not forget some poor soul is dead due to this chithead (he is the root cause). I really don’t understand people sometimes. When was that ever funny to make fake calls to the authorities? Overall there is more blame to go around though.

Reader
Armsman

The a$$hole definitely got what he deserved.

Reader
Dankey Kang

Imagine his COD skills when he gets out of prison, if he ever gets out of prison.

Reader
IronSalamander8 .

The entire idea of swatting is reprehensible and 20 years is justified, I’d say it should be more though. I do also agree with those saying the police officer shoudln’t get off so freely. This whole thing is both a tragedy and a complete mess.

Reader
Utakata

So 20 years and a dead father over $1.50 bet. That was some high five for the dude bro /uptick… /bleh

Ririrawr
Reader
Ririrawr

Awful, just all around awful.

rambling

joking/threatening/trolling with lethal force
joking/threatening/trolling and abusing civil services to enact it
this should just not happen

a life was taken; either through miscommunication/misinformation/urgency/intentionally… this should just not happen…

none of this ever needs to happen at all

those who signup to be civil servants need to be far more prepared than with just arms and gear, otherwise… and it is all too true today… for many countries, people live in fear of them

ugh i knew better than to read more than the title

humanity needs to get its shit together
we need to get it together

PurpleCopper
Reader
PurpleCopper

Sadly the fucking cop that actually killed the person is still free. I know he’ll never go to prison. But I can hope at least that the family sues the city and the police for all they got.

Mewmew
Reader
Mewmew

You sound like someone who hasn’t read all the details of the entire incident. I could be wrong of course, but I don’t see why the patrolman should be jailed?

The Cop make a horrible mistake, but it was an accident, he didn’t kill some innocent person on purpose. It doesn’t excuse it, I’m sure that the family can and should sue, but what would you put the Cop in jail for exactly? They thought they were going in to rescue the people he had tied up in the closet. They were moving fast, it was some poor inexperienced patrolman and not Swat or people experienced in handling it.

For whatever reason they had no notion that this may be a fake call, the guy really convinced them what was happening and that was his house. There was a long line of people who handled the situation wrong including people who kept letting the caller get away with this kind of stuff. What happened at the end was a terrible accident but the caller is at fault.

If someone did that to my house and my family member was shot, I can’t see wanting to see the cop who did it jailed because of the accident. I’d be pissed at the Cop but I’d blame the caller. I would certainly want to try and sue the Police department yes, but I wouldn’t want to see the Cop jailed for the accident. Fired and in counseling yes, but not jailed.

I imagine the Cop is suffering quite heavily with the knowledge of what happened. Mistakes were made, but the caller is absolutely the biggest blame here. That isn’t to say the cop shouldn’t lose his job and the police and a long line of other people shouldn’t be sued, but I don’t think putting the Cop in jail for what specifically happened here would be any kind of justice. There were many failures that led up to this happening from many people along the way. I just don’t see putting the Cop in jail for the horrible mistake to be any real justice.

That said the 20 years isn’t nearly long enough for the caller to be in jail.

Reader
Bruno Brito

Swat calls are usually a slow process. It has to be. What they did here wasn’t just an accident, it was a fuck up.

I posted Wichita’s problematic relationship with cops being rightfully reported, i posted several notices about police brutality, and one swat call in which they broke into a family’s home with lethal gear and a shield for a kid.

It’s cleat that the militarization of the police is also affecting the Swat.

Reader
Darkthunder

@ Mewmew: If a normal person were to accidentally kill someone (a horrible mistake, as you say), they’d still likely be prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter. But the cop who did just that, gets off scott free. I’m sure the cop feels terrible for what happened, but actions have consequences, even if those actions were a mistake.

Reader
Utakata

I don’t think your apologetics will be all that comforting to the individuals directly affected. Also see: Defending the indefensible.

Reader
Axetwin .

Spilling a drink on a customer while serving them is an accident. Puncturing the box you’re supposed to be picking up with a forklift, is an accident. Fataly shooting an unarmed civilian who is cooperating with your commands is NOT an accident. When part of your job is literally deciding who lives and dies, you don’t get to use the “bad day” excuse, or “it was an accident” excuse when someone dies at your hands. No, he doesn’t deserve to be jailed, but he does deserve to be fired. That’s what needs to happen to EVERY cop that shoots and kills an unarmed civilian.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

As we told you in the last thread about this, this is just continuing to gloss over what happened in order to excuse the police. I have read every word and covered it extensively and am wholly of the belief that the police should be held responsible – and not just the cop who pulled the trigger, but the people who failed to fully investigate the obviously fake call with its easily verifiably bullshit information as well as the leadership who ordered in excessive firepower over an anon phone call and ignored every single red flag and inconsistency along the way, including the fact that the scene didn’t line up with the description from the (out-of-state) call. And that’s giving them the BOTD of being truthful in the official police account, which I wouldn’t do.

In this country, lethal “mistakes” still come with punishments, and the police who are paid and trained to not make these mistakes at our expense should pay for them not less but more so that they make fewer mistakes in the future. That’s what accountability to the public means.

I hope the family wins the civil suit, but shame on that prosecutor and the whole department.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Paragon Lost

Sadly because the training is no longer serve and protect we have what we see repeatedly happening. When I see law enforcement in action they move like I did as a recon scout in the military. Which scares the hell out of me.

It’s an adversarial relationship where they try to dominate and control right from the start, using tactics that unbalance people their interacting with. No longer are they trained to attempt to deescalate a situation and resolve it in a peaceful manner. :/

Reader
Utakata

…and this one of the main reasons that we are descending into fascism. As well as believing in garbage spewed out on the internets. /le sigh

Reader
Bruno Brito

I hope the family wins the civil suit, but shame on that prosecutor and the whole department.

To be fair, it’s possible the prosecutors actually didn’t prosecute the officers because of the police pressuring them. Prosecutors work with the police all the time, not only the bonds of friendship form, but police unions tend to be pretty rough and corrupt. See right now what’s happening in Chicago. They found decades of issues there that are finally being reported.

I do want the family to destroy the district tho. They deserve every single penny.

Random MMO fan
Reader
Random MMO fan

You could use a different language but I will have to agree – the police officer should’ve gotten same sentence or more. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for any murder of unarmed people by police. None. And it saddens me to see another cop who killed the innocent person to get away with it. Only makes me hate all of law enforcement personnel more even though I know generalizations like these are irrational.

Reader
Darkthunder

As I said above, if a normal person were to accidentally kill someone, it would be considered involuntary manslaughter. This cop did just that, but gets off scott free.

Random MMO fan
Reader
Random MMO fan

Yes, it’s pretty disappointing that the law does not apply to them most of the time, things like these will only encourage general population to distrust and dislike the law enforcement (which in turn will lead to police being more brutal, and so on in endless loop of mutual hatred).

It is unfortunate that neither the law enforcement themselves (who protect the murderers and excessive use of force by their own kind) nor the general population (people who think everything that police does is ok as long as they did it “by accident”) are able to understand this fact and none of them are willing to break this loop by applying proper punishment to each and every excessive use of force by every law enforcement person.

Reader
Giggilybits

Terrible

Reader
Sorenthaz

Good riddance.