Friday, March 1, 2024

Trans streamer and advocate Keffals swatted and arrested at her home

Keffals, whose real name is Clara Sorrenti, is a trans streamer known for their advocacy for the trans community, was swatted and arrested at her home on August 5 of this year. The reason behind this was because of toxic and malicious trolls had sent threatening emails in Keffals name.

Swatting has been described as ‘an internet prank’, where someone finds your address either through your IP or because your name and location is known and then calls or reports you to authorities in order to trigger an armed response. In reality, swatting is a crime and has led to serious injuries, endangerment, and has even led to deaths, such as the 2017 Wichita case.

Keffals describes via a YouTube video that she was woken up to an assault rifle pointed at her face. She was informed that at 6AM of August 5 every city counselor in London, Ontario was sent an email from someone impersonating Keffals. In the emails, the impersonator claimed that Keffals had kill their mother, owned an illegal firearm and planned to go to city hall and “shoot every cisgender person I see.” The streamer revealed they were shown the email, which was full of grammatical errors, while in police custody. Regardless, the police took it seriously.

“Not only that, the email said my name was Clara Sorrenti, but also stated what my deadname was. It was an obvious attempt to make the police humiliate me.” Keffals explained, also stating that the police misgendered her while speaking to her mother, and referred to them by their deadname. A deadname is a name that is no longer of use and can be harmful to the trans individual its being used against.

This was not the first time that Keffals has been swatted, nor is it the first time others have impersonated them while trying to incite trans hate. The streamer mentioned they had been swatted back on July 31, a little over a week ago. “I talked to Sergeant Nathan Gibson after someone impersonating me made similar threats to Toronto politicians. Sergeant Gibson chalked the incident up to a swatting attempt and I was not charged with a crime, nor made a suspect in an investigation by Toronto police.”

Even though the London Police Services found no evidence of guns, or harm to Keffals mother (who is alive and well), she is still considered a suspect. All of Keffals devices, as well as their finace’s, have not been returned to them and will not be returned until they are investigated and analyzed. Keffals lawyer has advised them that this process “could take months”. This has seemingly led the couple to spend thousands in order to stay afloat, putting a substantial dent in the couple’s finances. Keffals has since set up a GoFundMe, asking for help.

“Instead of the police helping me, they terrorized me and my loved ones, traumatizing me and leaving both my fiance and I on the verge of losing everything. They victimized me for being the victim of a hate crime.”

The full YouTube video from Keffals can be seen below.

Aimee Hart

[She/They] Aimee Hart is Editor-in-Chief of Gayming Magazine. She specializes in queer fandom, video games and tabletop, having started her career writing for numerous websites like The Verge, Polygon, Input Magazine and more. Her goal now is to boost LGBTQ+ voices in the video games industry.