Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Death of Utah Cop Unlikely to Change Future Drug Raids (UT)
opposingviews.com ^ | 11 January, 2012 | Lucy Steigerwald

Posted on 01/12/2012 7:07:23 AM PST by marktwain

Six police officers were shot by Matthew David Stewart on January 4, one of them died. Officer Jared Francom was laid to rest today with thousands of mourners in attendance.

Police are being pretty button-lipped about some of the basic questions about the case, though there have been strange reports in the last few fays that Stewart had a "possible bomb" in his house.

CNN reported:

"There was a device that was fashioned in a way that concerned those who found it that there were materials that could have been used as a bomb," Weber County Attorney Dee Smith told reporters.

But over at the Agitator, Radley Balko is skeptical. It's certainly possible that Stewart had something strange rigged up, but Balko notes an ATF spokesman who said to The Salt Lake City Tribune, “to characterize it as a bomb or device is not accurate at this time.” [Balko's italics] It seems entirely likely that this was something involving fertilizer, perhaps involved with Stewart's grow operation. A supposed photo of a bearded Stewart in a suicide-vest was "a Halloween costume," according to his father.

It's a weird, terrible story. But even if Stewart turns out to be a bomb-building nutter after all, that was notwhat this raid was about; cops saw their armed invasion of Stewart's home as another opportunity for the "Narcotics Strike Force team" to go in and do its thing.

However, this extremely unnecessary tragedy is getting a few cops to consider rethinking the terrible tactics which lead to their brother-in-arms being shot.

According to USA Today:

"It's time to change our thinking," says Pat McCarthy, who advises police agencies across the country. "Cops are exposing themselves to increasing danger many times over, and it's just not necessary."

Harvey Hedden, executive director of the International Law Enforcement Trainers and Educators Association, said the group is urging its 4,000 members to "look at everything" in an effort to avoid potentially dangerous complacency on the streets.

"Police work can be 99% boredom and 1% panic," Hedden said. "Routine can be the most dangerous of all. We need to go back to the basics."

Federal and local officials have been troubled for the past two years by the number of firearms-related fatalities. Gun-related fatalities last year were up 15% from 2010. So far in 2012, four officers have been killed by gunfire — one more than at the same time in 2011....

Weber County Sheriff Terry Thompson said that the incident and the officers' actions remained under investigation and that the activities of the strike force are "on hold" because about half of the unit was involved in the shooting.

McCarthy said the deadly confrontation underscores a need for police to rethink their tactics.

"The days of knocking down doors in drug cases should be over. Given what's going on now, you have to consider other options," McCarthy said.

He said law enforcement officials should focus more on attempting to lure suspects out into the open or simply "wait them out."

Libertarians, or Agitator aficionados might draw a different lesson from the shooting beyond drug raids endanger cops, but certainly going "back to basics" and not treating every drug user or even dealer as a potential Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold would be a great step in preventing this kind of waste of life.

Radley Balko in 2011 on the over-hyped "war on cops." Reason on the militarization of police.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Utah
KEYWORDS: banglist; donutwatch; drugs; dynamicentry; govtabuse; gun; lping; militarizedpolice; noknockraids; policestate; raid; swat; swatabuse; ut; wod; wodlist; wosd
The use of SWAT teams has become far too common.
1 posted on 01/12/2012 7:07:35 AM PST by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marktwain
He said law enforcement officials should focus more on attempting to lure suspects out into the open or simply “wait them out.”

Excepting eminent risk and endangerment to someone (i.e.: a hostage situation, an active shooter, or some one with a bomb/chemical weapon) there is NEVER a need for civilian law enforcement to conduct a dynamic entry.

2 posted on 01/12/2012 7:17:25 AM PST by fireforeffect (A kind word and a 2x4, gets you more than just a kind word.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

I vote for using predator drones.


3 posted on 01/12/2012 7:18:54 AM PST by Choose Ye This Day (The thing that counts is not what we could do, but what we actually do. -- Leo Spears)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Yep, it has.

When the U.S. Department of Education has SWAT Teams, something is seriously wrong. SERIOUSLY WRONG!

And then there is the fiasco in Tucson with the X-Marine. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. Sheriff Dupnik (Dipstick) should be held accountable for that.


4 posted on 01/12/2012 7:18:54 AM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
Next door neighbor was a DC detective. He got shot on a drug raid USING THE OLD RULES.

He was the first guy to the door ~ with the warrant!

He knocked. He called out. He pushed the door which was unlocked and unlatched and as he stepped in a woman behind the door grabbed his pistol and managed to shoot his trigger finger.

DC changed its rules of engagement after that ~

5 posted on 01/12/2012 7:24:44 AM PST by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
"There was a device that was fashioned in a way that concerned those who found it that there were materials that could have been used as a bomb,"

BAM you're dead! (or at least the dog)

6 posted on 01/12/2012 7:28:04 AM PST by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways a Guero y Guay Lao << >> with a floating, shifting, ever changing persona)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

so...how big was this “grow operation”?

A couple years ago, the ISP and the locals spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to stake out, fly over with thermal imaging, dig through the trash, and ultimately 50 man raid a 63 year old with a chronic bad back growing 2 little pot plants in his basement.


7 posted on 01/12/2012 7:36:05 AM PST by digger48
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

I’m still waiting to see where each of the bullets pulled from these cops came from.


8 posted on 01/12/2012 7:37:25 AM PST by Mr.Unique (Very generic, non-offensive, tagline.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Federal grant money has armed small town police departments and sheriffs with body armor, weapons and paramilitary training that encourages wreckless and excessive action.

There is no imminent danger from a drug dealer’s house, so there is no reason to rush into an unknown and potentially dangerous situation - unless the goal is to kill the suspect (using SWAT team toys), bystanders or risk law enforcement lives in the process.


9 posted on 01/12/2012 7:37:54 AM PST by sbMKE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Here’s what you do.

You call the guy on the phone and tell him there’s a problem with his car registration or something, can you please come over the to the police station to discuss it. Most guys who want to keep a low profile and avoid trouble with the police will come right in.

You survey his house and make sure it is empty while he is over at the police station. Then you then have a detective slip in the back door and quietly search the place. When the detective is finished, then he calls the police station and tells them that they can tell the guy everything is OK, he can go now.


10 posted on 01/12/2012 7:46:28 AM PST by proxy_user
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: proxy_user

This was a ‘knock and enter’ warrant. I no longer live in Utah, but I think the law requires he be present for the police to enter.

That said, just stop him a block from the house, hand him the warrant and walk him back to the house.

But then it would be hard to justifiy all the money spent on all the cool toys.


11 posted on 01/12/2012 7:57:59 AM PST by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

So it’s a BAD thing to shoot masked men with guns when they kick in your door?


12 posted on 01/12/2012 8:14:16 AM PST by Grunthor (I am a conservative, neither half of the one party represents my views.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: digger48

But did they shoot his dog? Please tell me they SHOT HIS DOG! It’s hardly a police raid anymore unless some jackass with a badge stomps the family poodle to death.


13 posted on 01/12/2012 8:17:05 AM PST by Grunthor (I am a conservative, neither half of the one party represents my views.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: digger48

No expense is too great if it keeps just one libertarian off our streets.


14 posted on 01/12/2012 8:22:54 AM PST by papertyger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Grunthor

they had the guns drawn and sighted on the dogs because they were barking. His girlfriend had to beg them not to shoot. Fortunately, they didn’t.


15 posted on 01/12/2012 8:23:55 AM PST by digger48
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Grunthor

I am so sick of these stories.

If my door ever gets kicked in I have one big honkin surprise for Mr. Jackboot, fascist, drug nazi:

a fully armored Shi-Tzu!

See how that tastes you bastards!


16 posted on 01/12/2012 8:30:29 AM PST by papertyger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
Crash my door and the Mossberg pump will be waiting. Anyone can stand in the yard and claim to be the police, particularly in a rural area.
17 posted on 01/12/2012 8:34:45 AM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

If I was on the jury I would vote to acquit.


18 posted on 01/12/2012 9:06:05 AM PST by em2vn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sbMKE
Read my post about imminent danger.

There's ALWAYS imminent danger when delivering a warrant to a drug dealer.

19 posted on 01/12/2012 9:18:19 AM PST by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: fireforeffect

Police have placed preserving evidence at a higher priority than preserving lives.


20 posted on 01/12/2012 9:21:27 AM PST by Boogieman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

The article two links in says that this happened at 9 PM. It’s not a certainty that he’d be asleep at that time, but it helps with the old “there was no answer at the door” excuse to explain away busting the door down.


21 posted on 01/12/2012 11:40:25 AM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SWAMPSNIPER
Anyone can stand in the yard and claim to be the police, particularly in a rural area.

It's even less reassuring when they burst in without warning yelling "something or other" over the noise of breaking doors and furniture. Since that is a perfect MO for a rip crew why should any armed law-abiding citizen even consider for a moment that it might be law enforcement? It's not a situation that is forgiving of hesitation.

22 posted on 01/12/2012 5:37:40 PM PST by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: marktwain
"It's time to change our thinking," says Pat McCarthy, who advises police agencies across the country. "Cops are exposing themselves to increasing danger many times over, and it's just not necessary."

[...] "The days of knocking down doors in drug cases should be over. Given what's going on now, you have to consider other options," McCarthy said.

He said law enforcement officials should focus more on attempting to lure suspects out into the open or simply "wait them out."

Where's the fun in that?

23 posted on 01/13/2012 12:08:17 PM PST by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JustSayNoToNannies

No fun indeed. No special vehicles, IR cameras, fancy surveillance gear...


24 posted on 01/15/2012 11:13:20 AM PST by Dr. Wu
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson