UPDATE: London Twitch star who fell victim to swatting cleared by police

Clara Sorrenti, 28, of London claims London police violated her human rights after she was arrested in an alleged swatting incident on August 5, 2022. (Screen capture via Keffals on YouTube.)

A London woman whose identity was stolen and used to threaten city staff via email said she’s no longer deemed a suspect in the police investigation.

Clara Sorrenti, known as Keffals on the streaming platform, Twitch, made headlines earlier this week when she uploaded a video pleading for help after she was arrested at gunpoint by London police officers on August 5. Sorrenti said she was arrested after emails threatening to harm London politicians were sent by someone impersonating her.

After Sorrenti was shown the emails, she said she informed police that she was swatted, a criminal harassment tactic where someone attempts to deceive police into responding to a fake emergency. Sorrenti said she had been a victim of swatting attacks in the past.

Police later released Sorrenti without any charges. However, investigators held on to several of her and her fiancé’s devices and allegedly informed her she would remain a suspect in the investigation. Sorrenti said her belongings were returned on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Sorrenti announced on Twitter that London Police Service Chief Steve Williams told her she is no longer considered a suspect in the probe.

“I talked to the Chief of Police of London Police Services, and I am no longer a suspect in the investigation,” Sorrenti tweeted. “They are now acknowledging this situation as swatting.”

Several hours after Sorrenti made her announcement, London Police Service echoed her statement and provided more insight into the investigation.

“As a result of further investigation, we do not believe that the threatening emails received by City Hall officials originated with Ms. Sorrenti,” Chief Williams said in a statement issued Thursday evening. “We believe there was a deliberate attempt by a third party to place suspicion on Ms. Sorrenti in relation to what are now believed to be false threats to harm people at City Hall.”

Williams clarified that ahead of Sorrenti’s arrest, responding officers attended her residence, knocked on her door, and announced themselves before the door was opened.

“Ms. Sorrenti was arrested for uttering threats based on information officers had at that time. Ms. Sorrenti was polite and cooperative. To be clear, due to the nature of the threats to shoot people, officers with specialized training and equipment were involved in the arrest. These Emergency Response Unit officers are specially trained to peacefully resolve high risk situations. They offer enhanced protection for the public and fellow officers. In the past, officers in similar situations have been wounded or killed. In this case, firearms were displayed until it was determined a threat no longer existed. I acknowledge that for the average citizen, having heavily armed police officers attend your residence would be traumatic. I understand this was a traumatic and shocking experience for Ms. Sorrenti. At the same time, the safety of our officers and members of the public cannot be compromised when responding to occurrences of this nature. I am thankful they affected the arrest without physical injury to anyone.”

During her time in police custody last Friday, Sorrenti, an openly transgender woman, claimed investigators referred to her by her former name despite the fact it has been legally changed. She claimed officers called her by her deadname, the name she was given at birth because the attacker who swatted her used both her current name and deadname in the emails police were told about.

Williams said although he cannot verify what was said to Sorrenti during her initial arrest, he said he personally reviewed the recordings of Sorrenti while she was in holding. He claims at no time did officers address Sorrenti by her deadname and said officers were “polite, respectful, and professional” during any exchanges.

“The reference to Ms. Sorrenti’s former name appears to stem from the existence of prior police reports. When an individual comes into contact with police for whatever reason, an entry is made into our records management system using the name provided at that time. That report is merged with prior reports, if any, involving the same person with the same date of birth,” Williams said. “Where an individual has a change of name, or has a nickname or alias, those would be linked with the primary name on file. Police are not normally notified when someone legally changes their name. It appears the bag in which Ms. Sorrenti’s personal property was held was labelled with her deadname, for tracking purposes. I recognize that this explanation will not please everybody.”

The investigation remains ongoing and Williams said he can not provide additional details at this time. He added the probe will likely take some time as it has been deemed complex, and may end up involving several jurisdictions. Williams confirmed he personally reached out to Sorrenti on Thursday and offered his apologies and advised her how to follow up should she wish to file a formal complaint.

“This situation highlights for us the need to develop a mechanism to ensure accuracy in our record keeping, recognizing that, as in Ms. Sorrenti’s case, anything otherwise can be hurtful and disrespectful which was never our intent,” Williams said. “For this, I have apologized to Ms. Sorrenti.  In the coming weeks I will ensure a solution is implemented to avoid any repeat of this type of situation in the future.”

To read Chief Williams’ full updated statement, click here.

Following her arrest Sorrenti, who often uses her social media platform to speak up for transgender rights, said she believes this is why she has been targeted in the past. She claimed she has also attempted to have herself and her family placed on a no-swatting list in the past to no avail.

“Instead of the police helping me, they terrorized me and my loved ones, traumatizing me and leaving both my fiancé and I on the verge of losing everything,” Sorrenti said in her YouTube video posted on Tuesday. “They victimized me for being the victim of a hate crime.” 

Chief Williams then announced that police would be reviewing Sorrenti’s arrest.

“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,” Williams said on Wednesday.

The swatting investigation and review is ongoing.