London, Ont. police to review arrest of trans woman, Twitch streamer Keffals

In a video posted to her YouTube page, Clara Sorrenti holds a copy of the search warrant obtained by police prior to a raid on her home last week. Keffals / YouTube

The London Police Service (LPS) will be conducting a review into its arrest of transgender woman and popular Twitch streamer Clara Sorrenti, who goes by the name “Keffals”, after she was the victim of a swatting incident last week.

Swatting is an intimidation tactic that typically involves reporting a false crime and linking it to a person’s address, in hopes of having armed police show up at that person’s home.

Sorrenti, who is also a transgender activist, says harassers impersonated her in a series of false death threats sent to city councillors last week, prompting police to raid her London, Ont., home last Friday.

Read more: Trans woman, Twitch streamer Keffals doxxed, arrested at gunpoint by London, Ont. police

That morning, Sorrenti says she woke up to the sound of officers yelling at her

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“I had no idea what was going on. I put on some pyjamas and as I was going out the hallway, I saw them coming, they told me to put my hands up,” Sorrenti told Global News on Tuesday.

“Three police officers were in the doorway, one of them was crouched down holding a riot shield with a C8 assault rifle perched on top of it pointed at me.”

Police say that Sorrenti was later released from custody without charges.

Click to play video: 'Clara Sorrenti details being swatted, arrested at gunpoint' Clara Sorrenti details being swatted, arrested at gunpoint
Clara Sorrenti details being swatted, arrested at gunpoint – Aug 9, 2022

In a statement published on Wednesday afternoon, LPS Chief Steve Williams said he wanted to address concerns surrounding police interactions with Sorrenti.

“It has come to my attention that Ms. Sorrenti was referred to during her time in London police custody by an incorrect name and gender,” Williams said.

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“We acknowledge the distress this has caused Ms. Sorrenti and we will be reviewing the occurrence to understand how that might have happened. At this time, we are still in the process of gathering the information necessary for this review.”

Read more: Anti-hate experts concerned about rise in online threats toward LGBTQ2S+ events in Canada

Williams added that police are in contact with Sorrenti and plan to share their findings with her once the review is complete.

In a tweet posted less than an hour after Williams’ statement was published, Sorrenti said an officer from LPS’ hate crime division had been in contact with her and she would get back the items seized during her arrest. These items include streaming gear and personal communications devices.

In another tweet posted at 3:44 p.m., Sorrenti said she got back her phone.

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Police have shared few other details surrounding the incident, including whether there is a suspect or suspects linked to the false threats.

When asked for further details, a spokesperson for the LPS says they are unable to shed more light on the case as the investigation is ongoing.

In a separate statement from police on Tuesday, officers said they could not provide “a firm date as to when (the investigation) will conclude.”

— with files from Global News’ Ahmar Khan.

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