Swatting has become a dangerous trend which, unlike the aforementioned Tide Pod eating, is actually happening and is actually harming people. California State Senator Ted Lieu, New Jersey State Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, and Massachusetts Congresswoman Katherine Clark have all proposed anti-swatting legislation -- all three have been swatted in response.
A Scandal Involving Cops Forcing Nude Photos From A Teenage Boy Ended In Suicide
Before I get into it, just know this story deals with the sexual molestation of a minor. So it's not going to be as rip-roaringly funny as swatting.
17-year-old Trey Sims sent a video of his penis to his 15-year-old girlfriend. In the state of Virginia, this paradoxically made him the creator and victim of child pornography. The detective assigned to the case, David E. Abbott, obtained a warrant to take pictures of Sims' penis to match it with the penis in the video, as if the police have a dick pic database that analyzes head-to-balls distance and pubic hair density to find a perfect match. Of course, all of this is necessary, since it's so difficult to identify a dick when it doesn't have a tattoo or a peg leg. Why that warrant wasn't contested from the start is a mystery.
Another mystery is why, at one point, Abbott decided to start taking pictures of Sims' penis with his personal cellphone.
Detective Abbot deemed the pictures insufficient, because somehow Sims couldn't get erect with cops recording him masturbating. Which they had asked him to do, you know, so the pics would match the ones he was accused of sending. Wait, who is this law supposed to protect, again? Anyway, Abbot asked for a second state-sponsored permission slip to photograph a teenager's erect penis. Abbott also threatened to force feed Sims erectile dysfunction pills, because he was determined to get a picture of a kid's erect penis come hell or high water, goddamn it.
It was granted, but then halted after Sims' lawyers made a big deal about the first dick pic photo shoot in the media, claiming the police had infringed upon Sims' Fourth Amendment rights. That's the one that prevents the government from conducting unreasonable searches and seizures, in essence calling James Madison an idiot for not foreseeing the need to include a line about the sovereignty of teenage dicks in the Constitution.
Charges against Sims were eventually dropped after he served probation. And with that out of the way, it was time to sue Abbott. But the focal point of the lawsuit shifted from Abbott to Claiborne T. Richardson II, the guy who approved both warrants. This shift happened after Abbott shot himself in his goddamned front yard right before county police officers were going to arrest him on suspicion of molesting boys when he was a youth hockey coach. I just want to reiterate here that this story was barely a blip on the national media's radar.
Sims' lawsuit was thrown out when a judge said that Richardson and Abbott were immune, since the Fourth Amendment surprisingly makes no mention of cops taking pictures of a teen's penis. Everyone up and down the chain kept coming up with creative interpretations of the law to protect a dead detective who killed himself to avoid charges of molesting a minor. The common argument was that Abbott was just following orders. But he was the one who asked for the warrant. Has your head exploded yet?
After four years of this shit, the Fourth Circuit Court sided with Sims, finally deciding that teenage penises are in fact covered by the Fourth Amendment. See? Everything is fine. Nothing to see here.
Luis' brain feels funny after he played with unknown alloys. In the meantime, you can find him on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.
A previous version of the column stated that Andrew Finch was playing Call of Duty and had been directly involved in the online argument before he was swatted. That was incorrect. The text has been changed to reflect that.
Uhhh ... have a stress ball or several.
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For more stories you should have heard about but probably didn't, check out 29 Pieces Of Good News That Got Choked Out By Trump Stories and 7 Pieces Of Good News About Huge Stories (No One Told You).
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