Paxton Family, Republicans Targeted by Swatters

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton | Image by Bob Daemmrich/The Texas Tribune

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his wife, Sen. Angela Paxton of McKinney, were “swatted” on New Year’s Day in an escalation of a recent and dangerous trend of Republican elected officials being subjected to armed raids triggered by prank callers.

Swatting occurs when a prankster makes a fake emergency call and triggers an armed law enforcement response to someone’s home. The practice is considered criminal harassment and can become deadly. Kansan Andrew Finch was shot and killed by law enforcement after a prank caller from California falsely claimed Finch had murdered someone and was holding two people hostage. The caller was subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Sen. Paxton addressed the raid at the Paxtons’ McKinney residence in a post on X.

“Our household was ‘swatted’ on New Year’s Day after a false report was made to the police. Luckily, we were not home, and the situation was handled with great professionalism by McKinney law enforcement,” she wrote.

The Paxtons appeared to blame Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan and impeachment managers from Attorney General Paxton’s recent impeachment trial for allegedly improperly releasing the Paxton’s home address.

Attorney General Ken Paxton shared a post from radio host Chris Salcedo on X indicating he believed the swatting attempt stemmed from illegal doxxing by political operatives close to Speaker Phelan.

“Looks like [Dade Phelan] ’s House Manager’s campaign of illegal doxxing is paying dangerous dividends…” it read.

The call targeting the Paxtons is the latest in a series of several such incidents with other public officials. Rep. Brandon Williams of New York was targeted on Christmas Day following raids on Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Florida Sen. Rick Scott, per The Guardian. All three are members of the Republican Party.

Greene is accusing the FBI of not taking her predicament seriously, as the Christmas Day swatting was the eighth time she has endured such harassment while managing open threats to her life, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Some social media users commenting on the string of swatting incidents compared the practice to attempting an assassination. Activist Suburban Black Man expressed this view in a post on X:

“Every ‘swatting’ incident is an assassination attempt. Culprits should be charged accordingly to the fullest extent of the law.”

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article