Trans woman, twitch streamer Keffals doxxed, arrested at gunpoint in London, Ontario. Police | (2023)

Clara Sorrenti's fear was realized on Saturday morning when armed police knocked on her door and asked her to leave because they had a search warrant on her home.

Trans woman, twitch streamer Keffals doxxed, arrested at gunpoint in London, Ontario. Police | (1)

Sorrenti, a transgender woman and popular online streamer on Twitch, goes by the namekeffals, was set up: Stalkers sent false death threats with his name and address to councilors in London, Ontario, leading to Sorrenti being arrested at gunpoint.

“When I walked into the hallway and saw that assault rifle, I screamed and thought I was going to die,” Sorrenti told Global News in an interview.

Smash is a tactic of calling the police to a live streamer's home, when armed police show up on their doorstep in an attempt to intimidate them. Doxxing is posting private information such as an address or phone number in public.

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Sorrenti was arrested on the morning of August 5, when police woke her up and yelled at her from the front door. When she went to open the door, she saw a London Police Service (LPS) officer crouched down with a riot shield and holding an assault rifle pointed directly at her, she claimed.

Several officers then took her out into the hall and arrested her, still not knowing why she was being handcuffed.

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The London Police Service confirmed the arrest to Global News.

“I can confirm that on Friday 5th August London City Council contacted London Police informing them that a number of people had received a letter threatening potential violence against people within City Hall later that day. The officers launched an investigation and, through the evidence obtained, were able to obtain court authorization to search a residence,” an LPS spokesperson wrote in an email.

"EM. Sorrenti was arrested while the investigation progressed and later released without charge pending analysis of the seized electronic devices. This investigation is ongoing and, at this time, we cannot provide an exact date of when it will be completed."

Sorrenti showed Global News a search warrant indicating that police were looking for a firearm, ammunition and their computers. Police officers reportedly arrested her, said she was in possession of an illegal firearm, and took her to the police station.

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Ultimately, all of his broadcasting equipment and personal communication devices, as well as those of his partner, were seized and remain in police custody.

“During the search, they seized my work computer, my work cell phone, my personal cell phone, as well as my fiance's work computer and personal cell phone,” said Sorrenti.

On Wednesday afternoon, Sorrenti confirmed that he had managed to retrieve his belongings from the London Police.

The email sent to London City Councilors claimed that Sorrenti killed her mother, which is untrue as her mother helped her find a lawyer. He also claimed that he intended to kill any "cis and straight" people in City Hall, according to Sorrenti's recollections of what the police told him.

(Video) Trans woman, Twitch streamer Keffals doxxed, arrested by London, Ont. police at gunpoint

“It's a terrifying thought that someone can put your name in an anonymous email, upload any image of a gun and a SWAT team will be sent to your house and you'll have an assault rifle to contend with,” Sorrenti. saying.

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

But for Sorrenti, this doxing is particularly terrifying given that she is a trans woman who regularly receives hate and death threats.

"I was terrified. I had no idea what was going to happen and I still don't know what's really going to happen with this," he said. "It's only been a few days, every now and then I think about the past and feel trapped."

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Sorrenti said she was notified of a similar crush attempt by the Toronto Police Service, who did not respond saying it was unreliable.

“There was apparently no correspondence between the Toronto Police Service and the London Police Service, so they had no idea that crush attempts had already been made,” he said.

Global News contacted the Toronto Police Service, who confirmed that there is "an ongoing investigation".

“I can confirm that a report has been filed. We have reached out to the investigator,” a Toronto Police Service spokesperson wrote in an email.

Since March 27, Sorrenti and her family have been the target of online hate and have been misled. At the time, she said that she and her brother reportedly told LPS that they wanted to be put on a "no-scam list" that foreshadowed what would eventually happen, but were told that such a list did not exist.

Global News reached out to LPS to ask about a possible list of scams and "as this is an active investigation, we are unable to provide further details."

Transphobia alleged by the London Police Service

With a complicated history of interactions with transgender people and police and a lack of distrust of authorities, Sorrenti noted that he felt that some of the actions of LPS officers were transphobic.

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She said she was named dead several times, including in the police report and her evidence bags, which Global News confirmed. A dead name is the "birth name of a transgender person who changed their name as part of their gender transition" and using one is considered harmful.

However, during the arrest, he said Sorrenti was asked by at least one officer whether it was "she" or a man.

(Video) Canadian trans Twitch streamer allegedly doxxed for 2nd time in weeks

“The way the police treated me really showed me that they don't know anything about transgender people or transgender issues,” she said.

After being arrested and placed in the backseat of a police car, Sorrenti alleged that the same officer asked her to give him a "trans 101" lesson, in which she was asked to explain that it was a dead name.

Read more:'Homophobia Is a Real Thing': B.C. Student says he was assaulted for being gay

On Tuesday, Global News asked LPS about the allegations of transphobic behavior, but received a response: "Since this is an active investigation, we are unable to provide further details."

On Wednesday afternoon, LPS chief Steve Williams issued a "public interest" statement regarding Sorrenti's case and its allegations.

“It has come to my attention that Mrs. Sorrenti was mentioned during her time in London Police custody with an incorrect name and gender," read Williams' statement. “We recognize the distress this has caused Ms Sorrenti and we will review the event to understand how this could have happened. At this time, we are still collecting the necessary information for this review."

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“The London Police Service is committed to policing without bias and treating all people with respect and dignity. We work closely with partners in the LGBT2QSIA community across London to ensure we respond to the needs of the community and address any concerns they may have. We recognize that despite our best efforts, we sometimes fail, and in those situations, we learn, educate and do better,” says the rest of Williams.

The head of the London Police Service, Steve Williams, has just issued a statement about the@keffalsbackupcrushing incident.

"It has come to my attention that Ms Sorrenti was mentioned during her time in London Police custody under an incorrect name and gender."

- Ahmar Khan (@AhmarSKhan)August 10, 2022

Other attempted scams do not normally result in arrest, and despite having no criminal record and being a prominent figure online, Sorrenti is well known locally and in person in London. He has contested provincial and federal elections, participated with the City of London in activities for the LGBTQ2 community, and held personal events and community meetings.

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The fact that the police are still investigating what they call a very clear attempt at doxing and a scam is odd, according to Sorrenti.

"I don't know how they are investigating this, but for you, this is clearly a hate crime," he said.

With her broadcast crew still in police custody, Sorrenti opened a GoFundMe to get back into broadcasting so she could continue making a living, but she was traumatized by how LPS handled the situation.

(Video) Trans Twitch star fears for safety, says police arrested her at gunpoint based on false tip

“Instead of the police helping me, they victimized me,” he said.

Now that her information is public, Sorrenti is forced to make some major changes in her life to avoid further complications and imitations.

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“By posting this means more people are likely to try this. I'm currently trying to find a new place right away," he said.

Sorrenti said he is not finished with the LPS and, once he is cleared of criminal charges, he intends to sue the police department.

Why was Keffals crushed?

On Twitch, Sorrenti, better known as Keffals, is a proud trans woman who advocates for transgender rights and often covers news topics with a critical lens. Her existence has led to her being criticized online, with trolls denouncing her en masse and banning her from Twitch and Twitter for discussing issues facing the trans community.

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“They want me dead. I'm a high-profile transgender activist, I have a big target on my back, and in the last year, transgender people have been at the center of a culture war," she said.

With prominent celebrities like Joe Rogan, Dave Chappelle and J.K. Rowling taking aim at the transgender community last year, Sorrenti said it's getting harder and harder to be a trans person and just exist.

"I came out when I was 16 in 2011 and it's worse now than it was," he said.

Sorrenti added that in the past people just didn't know what transgenders were, so there was still hatred, but it was based on ignorance. However, this hatred has ceased to be steeped in ignorance to be ideological.

"Now it's targeted, it's much scarier because now people are trying hard to hurt transgender people, they're trying to take back the progress we've made as a community," she said.

Through her Twitch streams, Sorrenti has become a voice for the trans community, especially for those who want to go through reassignment and reclaim their identity. She said a 16-year-old boy recently approached her and said that for the first time she felt like a normal teenager being part of her community.

"These fans don't want people like me to exist because I do everything I can, almost every day, to make our community better," he said, shortly before venting.

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Sorrenti was visibly shaken during the interview, crying and wiping away tears several times. She hesitated to check her phone after the interview, fearful of what might be said about her online and overwhelmed by the support she had been receiving. He had just posted a video called “My life is in danger. I need your help" on their YouTube page detailing the incident.

(Video) Trans Twitch Streamer Stalked And Doxxed Just Weeks After Being Swatted

Amanda Jette Knox, a non-binary person with a transgender partner and a transgender child, is well aware of the growing hatred against the community. One of the most dangerous tropes Knox knows of is calling trans people "hairdressers" or "pedophiles," which was done similarly to gays and lesbians in the 80s and 90s.

"The hate has gotten a lot worse lately, it's really intensified," he said. “There are a lot of accusations, things like being called a hairdresser or a pedophile and… those accusations are really fueling a lot of attacks.”

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Knox believes Sorrenti is being targeted by right-wing trolls and hatemongers because of her growing online presence and the community of followers she has cultivated. On Twitch he has nearly 40,000 followers while on his main Twitter account he has over 112,000 followers.

“Doxxing is used as a form of intimidation, so the more you can silence someone out of fear, the less they want to talk,” Knox said. "In these cases, very vocal people, many prominent activists, many community members are being lied to and then shut down because they are afraid it will happen again."

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Knox's own transgender girl admires and follows Sorrenti, and knows the value she has to the community, but also to society at large for being able to educate the masses about who and what transgender people stand for.

“We need to talk about how trans and queer people are just parts of society and we are just members of society and there's nothing to be afraid of. And I think with time, at least, I hope it gets a lot better," he said.

And while Knox is hopeful for a brighter future, Knox thinks things could go wrong in the meantime.

“If history has taught us anything, it's that we will get through these really dark days. I am absolutely hopeful that things will get better. I'm afraid they will get worse first," he said.

As for Sorrenti, she admitted that she is shocked and will likely remain traumatized for the foreseeable future, but she won't let hate rule the day.

“I will not back down. I know the work I do is incredibly valuable and thousands of trans people have told me that almost every day people say they came out to their families because of me,” she said.

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“If they want me to stop next time, they better manipulate the police into pulling the trigger.”

Trans woman, twitch streamer Keffals doxxed, arrested at gunpoint in London, Ontario. Police | (4)

Clara Sorrenti details how she was crushed and held at gunpoint

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