Utah Might Rethink Armed Police Home Invasion Raids: Some Reasons Why


The Utah newspaper Standard-Examiner gathers some reasons why armed police raids on homes might not be the best policy, in their state or anywhere:

The discussion that will take place next year in the Utah Legislature over law enforcement raid-style search warrants is a necessary topic to debate. Certainly, the use of a battering rams to combat minor offenses is something that should not occur….

One concern is the potential for late-night, high-adrenaline police procedures leading to the increased possibility of violence. No one certainly wants that, but unfortunately, that has occurred locally. Cases include:

• A 2010 incident in which a man was killed by law enforcement when he brandished a golf club when a search warrant was served at his home one night.

• The Stewart case, where one officer was killed, and several wounded, during a January 2012 "knock and announce" warrant at night at the home of Stewart in Ogden.

• A December 2012 incident in which a family, including two young girls, were met by officers in the early-morning hours. Police were at the wrong address searching for a military deserter. The family later received an apology from Ogden Police Chief Mike Ashment.

….there have been enough adverse incidents involving raid-style police searches to merit more discussion on the issue. We hope some good ideas are heard next year during the legislative session.

A military deserter. My goodness. The definitive book on why this sort of police practice is a bad idea for America is by former Reason writer and editor Radley Balko, The Rise of the Warrior Cop.