Nicki Minaj seems to be the latest famous person to get swatted. The singer of “TROLLZ” recently had a run-in with the Los Angeles Police Department. In the span of 24 hours, the department got two fake calls saying that Minaj’s 2-year-old son was being abused and that Minaj’s house was on fire.
Law enforcement sources told TMZ that an unidentified caller told child services that Minaj’s son, whom she calls “Papa Bear” because she hasn’t told the public what his name is, was being abused. Monday, June 12, LAPD showed up at Minaj’s home in the Los Angeles area because of the call. Officers talked to the “Red Ruby Da Sleeze” rapper and her husband, Kenneth Petty, at the scene and checked out their son. They then decided that the call was just a “swatting” joke.
After a few hours, someone else called 911 to say that Minaj’s house was on fire. The LAPD also found out that another call was a joke. TMZ said that Minaj paid lawyers to find out who was calling her back-to-back and hold them accountable, which could lead to criminal charges.
Swatting is a form of harassment in which a prank call is made to emergency services in order to get a big police response or even a S.W.A.T. team to a specific location. These jokes have been played on famous people in the past few years. This year, YouTuber Madison Beer was the target of swatting when a caller from Germany kept calling the police to say that Beer was thinking about killing herself. In February, TMZ said that since the beginning of the year, the LAPD got more than 15 calls about Beer, all of which turned out to be false. Swatting has also happened to Rihanna, Diddy, Tom Cruise, former White House adviser Steve Bannon, and US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
In light of the latest situation regarding Minaj, police have once again said that swatting calls are a waste of time and money. In a few sad cases, swatting jokes have even ended in death. A 28-year-old man was shot and killed by police in Wichita in 2017 after a serial scammer called them and claimed the guy had just killed his father and was holding his mother and brother hostage because he had gotten into a dispute with his father over a bet while playing Call of Duty.