An open-carry advocate, Robert Dickens of Fairfax, Virginia, was nearly killed by police officers when a false report went out that an unidentified person called police and stated that a 7-11 store had been robbed by a white person on a motorcycle. Dickens was out running errands and The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) was able to obtain the details of his incident and it turns out, Dickens became the victim of what is known as “SWAT-ting”, WND reported on Friday.
SWAT-ting is an act by an individual who calls and tricks law enforcement of any emergency service into dispatching an emergency response based on the false report of an on-going critical incident. Several people have been victims of SWATting including CNN contributor and RedState managing editor Erick Erickson, and other innocent people by individuals who have a vendetta against certain people for personal or political reasons.
Dickens explained his story to Bearing Arms and said, “On 10/15/14 at about 5:30 pm, I stopped at a 7-11 for some coffee in the skyline area of Fairfax. Like every other day when I’m off work, I had hopped on my motorcycle for a short ride. Being an open carry proponent, I didn’t think twice about putting on my every-day-carry pistol. After leaving the 7-11, I went to the Verizon store for some quick shopping. Both stores are within five miles of my home. Chores done, I decided to go for a nice ride around the block.”
“What’s that Fairfax County officer looking at me like that for? Damn he’s going to pull me over! Yep… Lights, boop boop…Now I’m thinking that I’ve got my pistol on me and I’m asking myself how I would feel if I were an officer pulling over someone who was armed. As the officer gets out of his car, three other cars show up. Wow, what did I do? “said Dickens.
“I let the first officer know that I have a firearm on my side. The officer said, “I know.” I did not move an inch! To my surprise not one of the at least six police officers have a weapon pointed at me. The officer walks up behind me and asks if he can take the weapon from my holster. “Yes, sir,” I replied. “Do you have any other weapons on you, sir?”… “Yes, sir, a knife in my pocket.” “Ok I’m going to hold onto that also,” the officer said. When Dickens was allowed to relax, he asked the officer of what was going on as he did nothing wrong. The officer replied, “Well, we had a person call from 7-11 and they stated that a white guy on a motorcycle robbed the place.”
Earlier in 2014, Phil Elmore of WND explained of the dangers of “SWAT-ting,” in which Elmore said, “It’s a technological exploit in which hackers or those with the ability to “spoof” telephone numbers or otherwise fool emergency response networks simulate emergency calls in order to direct law enforcement officers to a specific address. Often, Voice Over IP (VOIP) and other modern telecommunications methods are used to hide the caller’s true identity. Notably, SWAT-ting was originally invented as a “means of silencing conservatives by liberals.”
“It has, however, spread to other spheres of cultural influence, becoming just yet another weapon in the griefing arsenal of gamers, computer geeks and script-kiddie almost-hackers who want to find a way to reach through the Internet and harm someone, “ Elmore said. “This trend in SWAT-ting is dangerous and cowardly. It is only a matter of time before innocent people are killed as a result of one of these “pranks.”
Unfortunately, some people have been killed by police based on false reports (SWATing) such as the case where SWATer Ronald Ritchie, falsely suggested that a man, John Crawford III, had an assault rifle and was a threat while walking around a Beavercreek, Ohio Walmart. When two Beavercreek police officers showed up, they shot Crawford, who was only holding a BB gun that he bought at the Walmart store.
Bearing https://www.facebook.com/MomsDemandActionArms reported and documented numerous times in the past that “Moms Demand Action” supporters, who are anti-firearms, regularly call for SWATting to be used as a tactic against lawful open carriers on the Moms Demand Action Facebook page. BearingArms said, “Gun control supporters are very clear that it is their hope that open carriers are injured or killed by police officers responding to their calls.”
Whether any “Moms Demand Action” supporters were involved in Dickens case hasn’t been proven but Dickens was lucky and police told Dickens they will be “checking the sanity of the caller. Bearing Arms responded by saying, “Mr. Dickens kept his composure during the stop despite the four squad cars in his mirror, and the Fairfax County Police Department acted very professionally as well. The FCPD responded to the call with the potential for force, but never once drew a weapon on Mr. Dickens placing him in danger, which was the clear intention of the caller.”