“It is truly alarming that someone would attempt to harass or intimidate me in this way, while also forcing law enforcement to devote resources unnecessarily,” Brown wrote in a statement following the incident. “No one deserves this, and it puts so many people at real risk, including family members, neighbors, law enforcement, and others,” Brown’s statement continued. “We have got to get back to debating respectfully, respecting elections, and removing all violence and intimidation from our democracy.”
She added that she was thankful to the Warrensville Heights police department for probing into the hoax and her D.C. office has contacted the U.S. Capitol Police. At the time of this writing there have been no arrests.
This is not the first time a politician has been the target of swatting. On Christmas Day alone, Rep. Brandon Williams, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu were targets of swatting.
“A rash of so-called swatting calls, in which pranksters make illegal and dangerous fake emergency calls in hopes of sending armed police to raid a person’s home, have targeted political figures from across the political spectrum, raising concerns that the dangerous practice will be increasingly being used as a weapon of political retaliation and intimidation as the 2024 political season kicks off,” according to a TIME report.
According to Kevin Kolbye, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Dallas office said individuals who typically engage in swatting do it for “bragging rights and ego, versus any monetary gain.”