Local US cops, who have long relied on their guns to avoid having to do physical exercise, are hitting problems when it comes to internet threats.
The situation has been highlighted by the way a small-town swat team in Evansville, Indiana handled some Topix postings threatening violence against local police.
Thinking that such a person needed to see the might of the local cops, it sent an entire SWAT unit to execute a search warrant on a local house.
According to Ars Technica, the cops brought along TV cameras to show a local reporter how they nailed an evil terrorist who threatened them.
The SWAT team, decked out in black bulletproof vests and helmets and carrying window and door smashers, found the door of the house open and the family watching telly.
To be fair they did knock, but apparently they did not want anyone to come to the door. They broke the screen door and a window, tossing two flashbangs.
The hack they brought in to watch the raid says that the raid was the result of an investigation that hits home for “many of these brave officers” – we think he probably did not look to see what the cops had done and would be better off in PR.
But the family in the house was released without any charges as sheepish cops realised they had made a huge stuff up.
The house had an open wi-fi router, and the threats had been made by someone outside the house.
After a proper investigation, they realised that they had gone a little crazy the first time they sent a couple of cops to the door which was open.
They arrested a teenager who admitted that he had a “smart mouth,” dislikes the cops, and owns a smartphone, but said that he was not the one using it to make the threats and really the cops have nothing.
Apparently the FBI has realised that this is a problem and suggests looking at things like open wi-fi before taking down an innocent suspect.
But the problem is that the gun toting local cops with itchy trigger fingers have not got the memo yet.
Evansville police still think it was a jolly good idea to carry out the initial SWAT raid although the innocent home owners are still miffed.
But to make matters worse the local community thinks it was a good idea. Posts on the same site afterwards praised the police operation saying that it was a warning to people that they can’t mess with the fuzz.