This Is Your Utah Law Enforcement on Drugs
So what news of that Utah rave busted up by 90 military-style SWAT team cops with automatic weapons, helicopters, tear gas and dogs? Scanning today's Mormon State newspapers we get a bunch of illuminating justifications and outright lying from cops and politicians. For instance, this passage in a Salt Lake Tribune article:
"I stand by everything that was done there that night. We did use some force. It was appropriate and necessary to take those who were fighting us into custody," [Utah County Sheriff Jim] Tracy said.
He also said that no officers used profanity as they conversed with partiers, nor did they punch, kick, Mace or use tear gas on any of the attendees.
"It's all a lie and we refute every word of that," said Tracy.
But the video clearly shows an officer using profanity as he demands the music be turned off.
The police said they moved in because organizers didn't obtain a "mass gathering" permit, to allow for crowds larger than 300.** Organizers did obtain a health permit, and reports differ** on whether they got the mass gathering permit or not, but
"That's all smoke and mirrors," said County Commissioner Steve White. "They were selling drugs. They were committing illegal acts, and as soon as that happened it doesn't matter what kind of permit they had."
The awful kicker? Several of the 60 or so people arrested were private security guards, booked on drug possession, because they had searched incoming ravers and confiscated their illegal drugs.
"[Security guards] have no legal statutory authority to take and hold controlled substances. It's against the law for them to have them," Tracy said.
** UPDATE: Commenter Jason Ramsey reports that the "mass gathering" permit was in fact obtained:
I spoke directly with Jay Stone who handles the Mass Gathering permits for the Utah County Health Department's Bureau of Environmental Health Services, and he stated unequivocably that the permit was applied for and granted by his department. He also agreed to write a letter to this effect upon request. The questions about whether or not the permit was issued should be answered and not up for dispute. I am currently attempting to reach the Utah County Board of Commissioners to resolve whether or not an additional permit would have been required by their office. Initial conversations with "Michelle" at their office seemed to indicate that this was not the case.