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Nikki Haley shares horror over swatting incident at her home

Ms Haley said she had been swatted once before

Graig Graziosi
Monday 29 January 2024 19:55 GMT
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Related video: Trump threatens ‘investigations’ into Haley if she does not drop out

Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley has been swatted again, and this time police barged in on her elderly parents.

Ms Haley, who is running against Donald Trump to lead the Republican party against Joe Biden later this year, revealed details of the harassment during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.

She said that she was not home when the swatting took place, but that her elderly parents were.

“I will tell you that the last thing you want is to see multiple law enforcement officials with guns drawn pointing at my parents and thinking that something happened,” she said. “It was an awful situation.”

Swatting is when a caller makes a police report for a residence that is not their own, claiming a violent crime is being committed at the location. Police – sometimes SWAT units, hence the name – then rush to and into the home, often with guns drawn, to address the report.

There is an implicit understanding by swatters that sending armed officers into a home could end up with the inhabitants of that home dead. This is often a feature of the prank, rather than an oversight.

This is the second time Ms Haley has been swatted.

“It wasn’t the first time. I think we’ve had it happen twice,” she said.

She said the swatting was indicative of the "chaos" in the country. Swatting incidents have been recognised by the FBI since at least 2008, and the term "swatting" entered the Oxford Dictionary in 2015.

The caller who swatted Ms Haley's home called police and claimed to be a man who had shot a woman and was at risk of dying by suicide at her home.

Police rushed to the scene and broke into the home, only to find Ms Haley's parents and caregivers, bewildered.

There is no information at this time if police have identified a suspect in the swatting or a motive.

Swatting, while rare, is becoming a tool used more frequently by those hoping to harass and disrupt lawmakers.

Tom Emmer, the House majority whip, revealed in a post on X/Twitter that he was swatted on Saturday night.

“Tonight my family and I were the target of a ‘swatting’ incident involving a 911 prank call that wrongly diverted a police presence to my home,” he wrote. “Sadly, this illegal and dangerous scheme is being used nationwide to target elected officials.”

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was the victim of a swatting incident on Christmas. She claimed that it was “like the eighth time” she'd been targeted.

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