While gearing up for a SWAT raid, Officer Brandon Ford of a small town in Kansas was heard describing the nature of the raid to fellow officers. “We got this anonymous call of an active shooter on Elm St. I can’t wait to try out this gear.”
While details were limited, the officers in charge of executing the raid feel confident in the accuracy of the report. Again, Officer Ford was quoted, “We don’t get too many murders around here, I hope there will be some real action.” In fact, the town, with a population of just over 9,000, had only seen 2 murders over the last 10 years.
What makes this particular raid even more alarming is that several officers are aware of the internet prank called SWATing, in which an anonymous person calls in about an active shooter or hostage situation with the goal of getting the SWAT unit to raid the house. These calls are often targeted at people who stream video games live online. When confronted with these facts, Officer Ford replied, “Who cares if it is just some dumb gamer! I haven’t had a chance to use this cool SWAT gear in my 7 years on the force. I am going to do it.”
Several hours later, the officers returned to the precinct after failing to find any active shooters or even guns. What they did find was a father, his wife and two young children. The father was playing a video game online at the time. Although there was no danger from a shooter at the residence, Officer Ford did shoot the family’s dog. “I came around the corner into the hallway and there was this dog that growled and lunged at me. I feared for my safety and had to shoot it.” When asked about the shooting, the father claimed that the dog was a 15 pound terrier and was on the opposite side of a child gate when the officer shot it.
Even though they were unable to find any evidence that a crime was in progress, the officers on the scene did find several thousand dollars in cash. After a positive drug test on the cash, the officers seized the money through a process called civil forfeiture. Although there were no drugs found on the scene, the officers were confident the money was drug money. “Why else would anyone have that much cash if not from selling drugs,” Officer Ford was heard telling the family over cries that the money was for their family vacation the following week.