Monday, August 22, 2005

Utah Ravers terrorized by SWAT team

Outrageous. If you had any doubts that were now living in a police state, read this Kos diary. A fully permitted musical event was raided by armed cops in fatigues with helicopter support. They had no warrant. Their probable cause was alleged prior knowledge of illegal activities at similar events. To my knowledge there were no complaints.

You really have to read the whole thing but here's a couple of money grafs.
No one resisted. That's for sure. They had police dogs raiding the crowd of people and I saw a dog signal out a guy who obviously had some drugs on him. The soldiers attacked the guy (4 of them on 1), and kicked him a few times in the ribs and had their knees in his back and sides. As they were cuffing him, there was about 1000 kids trying to leave in the backdrop, peacefully. Next thing I know, A can of fucking TEAR GAS is launched into the crowd. People are running and screaming at this point. Girls are crying, guys are cussing... bad scene.

...The police were rounding up the staff of the party and the main promoter went up to them with the permit for the show and said "here, I have the permit." The police then said, "no you don't" and ripped the permit out of his hand. Then, they put an assault rifle to his forehead and said "get the fuck out of here right now."
They were beating up young girls. The event hired security guards to confiscate drugs at the gate. They were arrested for possession. The owner of the property was essentially forced at gunpoint to leave her own land. And that's not even all of it.

I understand the local paper simply printed the farcical sheriff's statement and did no other investigation.

This is so egregious it demands action. Jeralyn also posted it so one hopes it will get some national attention outside of the reform community. Citizens have the right to assemble peacefully. This should not happen in America and judging by the number of emails I have in the inbox, we'll be talking about it again.

Update: Here's the link to only published story on it so far. It does appear to be a hack job. It's mostly just a steno job from the release but I found it even more appalling that this account puts the attendance at 400 people and they sent in 90 cops?

[hat tip to JackL]


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