Sunday, June 02, 2013

Standard-Examiner: An In-depth Look at Some Unresolved Law Enforcement Issues

We confess we're a "mite" disappointed, as we'll explain below

In view of this tantalizing teaser from Saturday's Andy Howell "Behind the Headlines" column we were particularly eager to retrieve our Standard-Examiner morning edition from the from front stoop this morning, folks.  We've been following the Matthew Stewart story and a few law enforcement-related others over the past six months, and we flat-out couldn't wait to have a look at Tim Gurrister's and Bubba Brown's retrospective overviews:
Matthew David Stewart is dead. But it looks like the effects of his case, and the divided community he leaves behind, may linger for years to come.
In a two-story package Sunday, Standard-Examiner criminal justice reporters Tim Gurrister and Bubba Brown will take an in-depth look at some of the unresolved issues surrounding the Stewart case and the overall trend of officer-involved shootings in the Top of Utah.
An in the interest of sharing, here goes... Not two, but three stories, all displayed here under the nifty "picture is worth a thousand words banner" which we shamelessly yanked from this morning Standard-Examiner Digital Edition, just to make a not-so-subtle "graphic" point:

June 6, 2013 Standard-Examiner headline banner
Read up, folks! We confess were however a mite disappointed as we'll explain below:
Sadly folks, digesting these stories, especially in view of  the high degree of community fear and apprehension about the growing "militarization" of our law enforcement agencies, both local and remote -- and with a backdrop of a mind-boggling list of 34 (count 'em thirty-four) "Top of Utah officer-involved shootings" since 1991 -- and in the context of even some sensible recent public commentary commentary urging "a much-needed discussion in Utah to reform prohibition policies and the tactics employed to enforce them," it's apparent (to us) that Weber police agencies have learned absolutely "nuttin" from either the Stewart incident, or any of the others, and that the local law enforcement response will be to merely "up the ante," and further escalate the potential violence, by, among other things, adopting policies dictating the donning of full combat gear in all confrontational police-citizen encounters, even in the most trivial of circumstances:
Last August, four  formed the Tactical Operations Group, or TOG, essentially in response to the lessons of the Stewart raid. “TOG was in the planning stages before Stewart,” Sheriff Terry Thompson said, “but that incident added to the urgency of getting it up and running.” “Stewart is the new standard,” said Lt. Troy Burnett, who administers the TOG. Meaning, he said, TOG squads will serve all warrants with full body armor and helmets as strict policy, regardless of whether the warrant is judged low or medium risk or is for a minor or major offense.
Sad, very sad, wethinks. When will our local law enforcement authorities learn that "violence begets violence?"  How many more lives will be lost because local cops showed up at a local door dressed, equipped and exhibiting a mental mindset worthy of a raid on an Afghanistan rebel stronghold?  When will local law enforcement authorities begin thinking a little less like Wyatt Earp and a little more like Utah "libertarian-style" leading light Connor Boyack?

And one more "compound" question:

And Why? And How
So many questions... and so few answers..

The floor's open, O Gentle Ones...


smaatguy said...

I too was dumbfounded by the new group and tactics...these paramilitary directions are disturbing....10 years from now they'll be driving tanks down the card.

smaatguy said...

Opps....tanks down the vard

Jane said...

And this doesn't even discuss how the one man whose case could prove the insipid and incompetent attack of the OPD on that infamous night and the truth about friendly fire; suddenly and under strange circumstances "committed suicide by hanging himself" in a cell where hanging was impossible.

Murder to cover up friendly fire murder?

Dirty_hippie said...

Weber County has drones, Davis County already has a tank. I don't think it'll take another 10 years. My concern is how many more people will die at the hands of those who are sworn to protect and serve? That infamous night, they didn't even care about their own safety. Why would they start caring about our safety any time soon?

smaatguy said...

OT....received my mail in ballot for the bond issue...what a somewhat complicated process...and holding this in June like this....well, I have my suspicions on the timing and method of the election....kind of like doing studies until we get the results we want....

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