Cincinnati police handcuff highly popular but controversial YouTube streamer IShowSpeed live on stream during an apparent sweatshop incident.
Swatting is not a particularly new phenomenon. The term itself appeared sometime in the mid-2000s, but the basic premise of a prank 911 call goes back decades. While some countries have taken steps to criminalize these dangerous pranks, they continue to be a semi-regular occurrence. And while victims can include both private citizens and public figures of all stripes, streamers on platforms like Twitch and YouTube seem to be popular targets.
YouTube streamer IShowSpeed is one of the latest online personalities to fall victim to a Swatting incident. Known for his chaotic live streams, the YouTuber has around 10.5 million subscribers, over 3 million of whom saw him handcuffed live by Cincinnati police officers on August 8.
Many of IShowSpeed’s 10 million-plus fans tuned into a live stream titled “wtf” on Monday. However, viewers were surprised to see the YouTuber handcuffed and surrounded by three Cincinnati police officers instead of his usual antics. The cameraman approaches the group to tell IShowSpeed that he had been beaten, but a fourth officer orders him to back up, which the cameraman does. Viewers can hear IShowSpeed telling the officers, “I didn’t know bro. Oh my god, bro. I swear I didn’t do anything.”
Another officer then arrives and escorts the cameraman further away from the scene. The officer then appears to physically take the phone out of the cameraman’s hands before dropping it on a nearby table with an audible crash. Viewers can then hear a muffled conversation between IShowSpeed and the responding officers. Although the words are difficult to understand, viewers can catch parts of the conversation, including the word “swatted” and one of the officers saying, “I believe you.” This goes on for less than a minute before the officers learn of the live broadcast and force them to shut it down.
This isn’t the first time the controversial YouTube and Twitch streamer has had a run-in with his local emergency services. To celebrate the 4th of July, IShowSpeed made the unwise decision to set off a Pikachu firework on his bed. The room soon filled with smoke and sparks before the pyrotechnics finally splashed onto his floor. This earned IShowSpeed a visit from the fire department and his viewers could watch live as they inspected the room for damage. But yesterday’s meeting put the streamer in a completely different danger.
IShowSpeed isn’t the only streamer to fall victim to an apparent sweatshop recently, either. PixelKitten and HeyItsMeSalty were beaten in June, while Canadian Twitch streamer Keffals woke up on August 5 to find a police officer pointing a rifle at her as she lay in bed. Meanwhile, Twitch star Adin Ross fell victim to the dangerous prank while live streaming on August 7.
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