Twitch streamer Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti was “terrorized” by police when she was arrested after suffering a stroke.
The trans-Canadian streamer narrated the event in a YouTube video titled “My life is in danger. I need your help,” in which she described being woken up by police officers who pointed an assault rifle in her face inside her home.
She was then taken into police custody, where she was accused of crimes she did not commit.
During interrogation, she was told emails posing as she had been sent to all council members in the area – London, Ontario – stating that she had killed her own mother, in possession of an illegal firearm was and had plans to enter City Hall and shoot at every cisgender person there.
Despite the fact that the emails were riddled with errors and Sorrenti was given the dead name – in her words it was “something a troll would say” – police took the threat seriously. She believes this shows the police’s anti-trans bias.
Although Sorrenti legally changed her name a decade ago, police continued to call her by her dead name.
Police searched Sorrenti’s home for a handgun, ammunition, cartridges, cleaning tools, a gun case, cell phones and computers. They confiscated her work and personal phones, the computer she uses for Twitch streaming, and her partner’s phone and computer.
Sorrenti says they were both jobless as a result, and she spent thousands of dollars replacing equipment.
Even now, she cannot access certain platforms because police are still holding her phone and computer pending analysis by digital forensics, which could take months. And that’s despite being released when police realized this wasn’t the first time Sorrenti had been struck by a stroke.
“Although I was issued a search warrant to search my home and found no weapons and my mother alive and well, I am still a suspect in an investigation by the London Police Services,” Sorrenti said.
As a trans streamer with videos and streams related to LGBT+ and political issues, Sorrenti is no stranger to controversy. She was recently banned from Twitch for speaking openly about the harassment she faced on the platform.
However, she explains that this attack is based on discrimination based on gender identity.
“Swatting is a crime. Identity theft is a crime. And because it was a crime motivated by hatred of transgender people, it was a hate crime committed against me,” says Sorrenti.
“Instead of helping me, the police terrorized me and my loved ones, traumatized me and left my fiancé and I on the verge of losing everything. They harassed me for being the victim of a hate crime.”
Sorrenti notes that without a policy against Swatting in her hometown, there’s a chance this could happen again in the future.
She adds: “I don’t know yet when I’ll be broadcasting on Twitch again. When I was woken up by police officers and saw the assault rifle pointed at me, I thought I was going to die. I feel traumatized.”
“I just want everyone to know what happened and ask for help so I can find justice for what happened to me.”