Teen sensation JoJo Siwa said that she got “swatted” shortly after coming out over the weekend when dozens of armed police officers showed up at her house and demanded everyone exit.
“We went outside, hands up, because you have to obviously follow the rules, and then the police were saying that somebody had called and made a claim,” Siwa said in an Instagram video.
Swatting is when someone calls the police and claims that a crime is being committed at someone else’s home with the intent of getting armed officers to show up, harass someone, and generally wreak havoc.
In the video, Siwa claimed that a member of the paparazzi was behind the call to the police and that they wanted her to leave her house so that they could take pictures of her.
“And then the police were saying that somebody had called and made a claim and then all of a sudden paparazzi came from around the corner,” she said in the video.
“I think because I recently came out to the internet, the media is obviously very excited, which I love, and I love the support,” Siwa said. “However, you could’ve just hung outside my house and I would’ve eventually come outside my house.”
Siwa did not name any member of the media who allegedly made the call. The call was placed just after she was discussing her coming out on Instagram and the call to police could have come from anywhere.
Last week, the “Boomerang” singer and Dance Moms alum posted several images to the internet as her way of coming out.
“She changed history today for the future of LGBTQ youth,” out online personality Tana Mongeau said on Instagram. The 17-year-old singer got congratulations from Ellen DeGeneres, Kim Kardashian West, Lil Nas X, and other stars.
While she did come out wearing a T-shirt that called her the “BEST. GAY. COUSIN. EVER.,” Siwa has said that she’s not ready to put a label on her sexuality.
“The only reason I’m not saying what I am is because I don’t know what I am but I know that I’m really happy and that’s all that matters,” she said.
The practice of swatting made national headlines in 2017 when several gamers got in a dispute over a $1.50 bet. Tyler Raj Barriss, 25, of Los Angeles called the police and claimed that he was 27-year-old Andrew Finch of Wichita, Kansas and said that he had just shot his own father and was holding the rest of his family at gunpoint.
The police showed up at Finch’s home, and as he went out onto the front porch, an officer shot him. He later died at a hospital. His 18-year-old niece witnessed the events and died by suicide two years later, and Finch’s mother blames her death on the police shooting as well.
Barriss was convicted on several charges stemming from the shooting and was sentenced to 20 years in a federal prison. Justin Rapp, the officer who killed Finch, did not face criminal charges.
No one was injured in the swatting at Siwa’s home.