SWAT raids Utah rave
This video shows a SWAT team dressed in camouflage and balaclavas, armed with high powered rifles breaking up a rave in Spanish Fork Canyon. Many testimonies from people attending the rave state that the authorities’ response was disproportionate. In the video you can see people being beaten to the ground and having dogs set on them. Witness accounts also mention the use of tasers and that tear gas was used on the crowd as they were peacefully leaving the area.
A police spokesman stated that undercover officers infiltrated the gathering earlier on in the night and saw illegal activity which prompted authorities to take action. The promoter insists that the party was legal and that it took place on private property to which he had permission to use. However one testimony from a party goer stated that the main promoter went up to the police 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."
The police officers confiscated all the film and video footage they could find and one witness account stated that a man was beaten unconscious by an officer for not surrendering his film. Fortunately the film above survived to document the overwhelming abuse of power and disproportionate response by state authorities.
As expected at an event like this there were illegal drugs found on some of the people attending. However not all of the estimated 1500 people who were present at the event were in possession of drugs. Reports detail indiscriminate harassing of revellers and weapons being pointed at unarmed civilians even when they were complying with police requests.
The use of tear gas on a crowd of people dispersing from an event is reckless and could have caused a stampede which could have injured innocent people. Just because some one attends an event, legal in this case, where drugs are present the police have no right to treat them like criminals. As such a violent response to recreational drug use is not a characteristic of a liberal democratic society.