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SWAT Team busts Utah rave; excessive force alleged (Merged)


Jun 28, 2004
Utah Party Raid By Swat

Originally Posted by knick evl ntnt
Last night, I was booked to play an event about an hour outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. The hype behind this show was huge, they presold 700 tickets and they expected up to 3,000 people total. The promoters did an amazing job with the show.. they even made slipmats with the flyers on them to promote in local shops.

So, we got to the show around 11:15 or so and it was really cool. It was all outdoors, in a valley surrounded by huge mountains. They had an amazing light show flashing on to a mountain behind the site, the sound was booming, the crowd was about 1500 people thick and everything just seemed too good to be true really. Well...

At about 11:30 or so, I was standing behind the stage talking with someone when I noticed a helicopter pulling over one of the mountain tops. I jokingly said "Oh look, here comes big brother" to the person I was with. I wasn't far off.

The helicopter dipped lower and lower and started shining its lights on the crowd. I was kind of in awe and just sat and watched this thing circle us for a minute. As I looked back towards the crowd I saw a guy dressed in camoflauge walking by, toting an assault rifle. At this point, everyone was fully aware of what was going on . A few "troops" rushed the stage and cut the sound off and started yelling that everyone "get the fuck out of here or go to jail". This is where it got really sticky.

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.

Now, this is all I saw with my own eyes, but I heard plenty of other accounts of the night. Now this isnt gossip I heard from some candy raver, these are instances cited straight out of the promoters mouth..

- One of the promoters friends (a very small female) was attacked by one of the police dogs. As she struggled to get away from it, the police tackled her. 3 grown men proceeded to KICK HER IN THE STOMACH.

- The police confiscated 3 video tapes in total. People were trying to document what was happening out there. The police saw one guy filming and ran after him, tackled him and his camera fell, and luckily.. his friend grabbed it and ran and got away. priceless footage. That's not all though. Out of 1,500 people, there's sure to be more footage.

- 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."

Now.. let's get the facts straight here.

This event was 100% legal. They had every permit the city told them they needed. They had a 2 MILLION DOLLAR insurance policy for the event. They had liscenced security guards at the gates confiscating any alcohol or drugs found upon entry (yes, they searched every car on the way in). Oh, I suppose I should mention that they arrested all the security guards for possession.

Oh another interesting fact.. the police did not have a warrant. The owner of the land already has a lawsuit against the city for something similar. A few months ago, she rented her land for a party and the police raided that as well. And catch this, the police forced her to LEAVE HER OWN PERSONAL PROPERTY. That's right. They didnt arrest her, but made her leave her own property!!!

Don't get it twisted, this is all going down in probably THE most conservative state in the USA. And this is scary.. a gross violation of our civil liberties. The police wanted this party shut down, so they made it happen. Even though everything about this event was legal. The promoters spent over $ 20,000 on this show and did everything they had to to make it legit, only to have it taken away from them by a group of radical neo-con's with an agenda.

This was one of the scariest things I have ever witnessed in person. I can't even begin to describe how surreal it was. Helicopters, assault rifles, tear gas, camoflauge-wearing soldiers.... why? Was that really necessary?

This needs to be big news across the USofA. At least in our music scene (edm as a whole)... this could happen to any of us at any time. When we're losing the right to gather peacefully, we're also letting the police set a standard of what we can get away with. And I think that's BULLSHIT!

The system fucked up last night... They broke up a party that was 100% legal and they physically hurt a lot of people there at the same time. The promoters already have 6 lawsuits ready to file with their lawyers and the ACLU is already involved.

I'm sure some pictures (and hopefully some video) will surface soon. I'll make sure to post them up here on 404, so you can see the Police State of America at work.


p.s. - there are more stories of police brutality that i'll post up later. gotta hit the airport soon. can't wait to get the fuck out of this shit hole state.


video and more!!

i was just about to post this. here's more

Atleast one image of bruising caused by the 'soldiers' can be seen below.



The official report/statement from the Sheriff's department can be found here:

More info on the event can be found at http://www.utrave.org - visit there for more stories, accounts, etc.

Please spread this to other forums around the nation. This needs to get into the hands of someone who can make a difference. I'm hoping that the videos and more pictures are released by those in possession of them.
Thats so fucked up...i hope that the promoter and ravers of Utah prevail and sue for the excessive abuse from the police agencies.

that is some serious mother fuckin shit... i never thought id see video where things like that take place in this country, in utah for that matter...
Bounced this thru EDD to get more global exposure.
I just saw a post about this in a Denver message board... These videos should seriously get sent everywhere... Bush needs to know he is fucking with the wrong ppl...
it doesnt just happen in america. apparently something similar happened at the czechtech in the czech republic this year :\

from what i read on the utraves board, local news stations are basically ignoring people's calls with their stories and just sticking by the police's report that it was a drug-party bust. hopefully bigger news outlets will show what really happened.
sorry, I retract my statement about the US, I'm certain it's a great place to live, it was a thoughtless thing to say.

The same thing happened here in the UK in the 90's when the criminal justice bill was passed.


Sections 63, 64 & 65 of the Act targeted electronic dance music, defining it as "wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats"..

thusly, Aphex Twin and others didst invent a new style of electronic music!
Astonishing ... no tanks!

Welcome to the new world order.
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trying not to sound plurry and all, but this shit really makes me sad. entirely fucked up indeed. :(

when will it be okay to feel the need to throw in the towel and say its hopeless, the scene is dying. please tell me not anytime soon.

Utah RAVE Raided by SWAT Team

Monday, August 22, 2005

The “war on drugs” took on a literal meaning this past weekend when SWAT Team agents in full military combat regalia stormed a RAVE an hour outside Salt Lake City, Utah. Covered in a_recommended blog on Daily Kos_is a firsthand account detailing what transpired at the event on Saturday, August 20, where military soldiers swooped on the crowd of about 1,500 people in the Spanish Fork canyon. The event’s promoter claims to have attained all the necessary permits to host the RAVE and even had an insurance policy of 2 million dollars.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune , Salt Lake City detectives wanted to “get their point across that such activity was not welcome in their area,” a point they made with more than 90 law enforcement officers_ and camouflaged SWAT Team members, vicious dogs and tear gas. According to the Utah County Sheriff’s office, their Major Crimes unit dispatched several undercover officers to the party and waited until they witnessed drug-related crimes to send out both local and state SWAT teams. Eyewitnesses have_posted their accounts of police brutality and other civil liberty violations, as “crowd control” became an assault on many peaceful partygoers who were doing no harm to others._Watch a video of the raid here.

RAVE busts have become infamous for their abuse of civil rights on young people across the country who only want to enjoy music. The most recently publicized of which took place in Flint, Michigan, where eyewitness reports included accounts of patrons being strip searched and cavity searched, some of them in unsanitary or dangerous ways._

The RAVE Act, passed in 2003, claims to target promoters and venues who host Raves with the intent of distributing drugs. The Alliance has_questioned the true intent of the law, submitting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Justice Department asking for any documents that reference the RAVE Act with respect to electronic music events. Any information found will assess whether prosecutors are abusing the law or upholding the civil liberties of music fans.