The Twitch streamer Keffals, real name Clara Sorrenti, known for her political commentary and advocacy for the trans community, was swatted and arrested in her home Aug. 5 after malicious actors sent a false email threatening others in her name.
Keffals on Tuesday posted a video describing the incident, and said that she was awakened at gunpoint by London, Ontario police after an internet troll impersonated her and sent threatening messages to every member of the London city council. The false email, which Keffals said police showed her during her interrogation, said Keffals had killed her mother and planned to go to city hall with an illegal firearm to harm others.
Keffals says she still is a suspect in an ongoing investigation by the London police. Per her account, her brother had previously warned authorities she could be a target for such abuse. Additionally, Keffals said she is effectively locked out of her social media accounts because the police are still in possession of her phone, which she needs for two-factor authentication.
“Swatting is a crime,” she said in the video posted Tuesday. “Identity theft is a crime. And because it was a crime that was motivated by hatred against transgender people, it was a hate crime perpetrated against me.
“Instead of the police helping me, they terrorized me and my loved ones,” said Keffals, who also said police continually deadnamed her during the interrogation. She provided images of the search warrant and property bags authorizing the raid on her home.
Keffals, who is transgender herself, is a popular Twitch streamer and political commentator known for confronting transphobia in her videos. In July, Twitch banned her after users falsely flagged a video in which she spoke against the abuse she usually receives on the platform. Twitch reinstated her channel two weeks later, after finding that her appeal of the ban was correct.
Hate and harassment continue to be long-running problems on Twitch for creators of marginalized backgrounds. In the fall of 2021, creators organized a walkout to call attention to hate spread by users of the streaming platform. In the past two years, Twitch has taken legal action against those the company says are behind hateful attacks; instituted new features for security; and even changed out chat emotes that became associated with violence.
Polygon has reached out to Twitch for comment regarding Keffals’ arrest. Keffals told viewers she does not know when she will return to broadcasting, but meantime she has set up a GoFundMe to help her move and recover losses from the swatting incident.