It’s just like in the movies! Techdirt reports that police in Evansville, Indiana, sent a SWAT team in response to some internet trolls – to the wrong house!
“The issue was that on a Topix community forum for Evansville, Indiana, someone claimed that a list of police staff had been “leaked.” Some trolls in the comments spoke out against the police — and one certainly went too far, suggesting that a certain officer’s house was going to be shot up. Rather than investigating the issue, the police got some info on where the comment came from (or, rather, where they thought the comment came from) and sent the SWAT team and a TV news crew to the home of Ira and Louise Milan — whose front door was open.”
Courierpress sheds in more light. “Police used what they called a law enforcement threat matrix to determine the proper response to information in the posts. One post mentioned explosives, and another specifically named Bolin and referenced the area where he lives. But no other officers’ names or addresses were identified.” Furthermore, Sgt. Jason Cullum, a police department spokesman, said “This is a little more difficult than a traditional crime scene, because we’re dealing with the Internet. They definitely weren’t expecting (a SWAT team at the door). The reason we did that is the threats were specific enough, and the potential for danger was there. This is a big deal to us. This may be just somebody who was online just talking stupid. What I would suggest to anybody who visits websites like that is that their comments can be taken literally.”