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Families of those killed by Utah cops rally against police militarization

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  • G L W8 SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    Regardless of which side of the issue readers find themselves taking, one thing stands out glaringly--as a society, we have forgotten to be polite. Every encounter I've had with law enforcement over many years has been one of mutual politeness and respect. When either party has shown politeness and respect for the other, it has been returned.
    That practice alone would tend to distinguish a clear difference between citizen and criminal elements and diffuse many explosive situations. Some of those will still occur and unfortunately turn to tragedy; it's human nature. But the overall numbers would decrease.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Sept. 2, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    @higv --

    "INtersting the phrase innocent tell proven guilty is not found in the constitution. It is a fair trial. "

    It ought to be pretty obvious that people who are presumed guilty aren't going to get that fair trial. ;-)

    "We don't allow a condemned murderer on the street before the sentencing. "

    Of course not.

    Notice that word you used -- CONDEMNED. That means he's already been through trial and been proven guilty.

    I'll repeat: when citizens are interacting with the police, they still have the right to be considered innocent. Many many people find themselves confronted by police officers when they have broken no laws whatsoever.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Sept. 2, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    INtersting the phrase innocent tell proven guilty is not found in the constitution. It is a fair trial. In order to save a life some action has to be taken before a trial. We don't allow a condemned murderer on the street before the sentencing. If we did that would be a danger to society.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Sept. 1, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    @USNGary --

    "Are we going to complain when the cops shoot and kill this perp?"

    That depends on -- oddly enough -- the facts of the situation. And we don't know those facts yet.

    "Obviously this cop didn't have the time to protect himself or the others shot. This is why the police have to be the way they are. "

    Police work isn't even in the top 10 of the most dangerous jobs in America, believe it or not. (They came in at #11 this year.)

    We don't allow any of those other workers with more dangerous jobs -- including loggers, cab drivers, farmers, and fishermen -- to kill people without cause, so why should police get to kill people without cause?

    "You people commenting on this article disgust me with your claim that the cops are always at fault when a shooting is involved."

    Nobody here has made any such claim, so you have no reason for your disgust.

    Police have a tough job. That doesn't mean they get to do it irresponsibly.

    "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

  • USNGary South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 1, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    What about the Draper cop that was killed this morning and 2 others in critical condition. Are we going to complain when the cops shoot and kill this perp? Obviously this cop didn't have the time to protect himself or the others shot. This is why the police have to be the way they are. There is usually a reason why they are called to a situation. You people commenting on this article disgust me with your claim that the cops are always at fault when a shooting is involved. Wake up! You are part of the problem. Just listen and do what's told to you. What would happen to you if you didn't listen at work- you would be fired.

  • DH48 West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 1, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    This is sensationalism in its purest form. It is so easy to judge when your not the one facing the critical situation.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Aug. 31, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    @Confused in AZ --

    "I've never found myself on the wrong side of the law because I don't BREAK the laws of this country. "

    I guess you've never heard of the idea "innocent until proven guilty", then.

    In case you've forgotten, we citizens meet the police BEFORE trial. When police interact with civilians, those civilians still have a Constitutional right to be considered innocent of any crime.

    Unless you feel like changing the Constitution?

  • Confused in AZ Chandler, AZ
    Aug. 31, 2013 12:04 p.m.

    I've never found myself on the wrong side of the law because I don't BREAK the laws of this country. Nor do I associate with those who do. Never has my door been kicked in and police officers with rifles entered. If you are a criminal or associate with criminal types you can expect to be treated like one. If you are a drug offender and hang with other dopers or buy drugs- you deserve exactly what you get from the police. The rest of us deserve protection from you and your ilk. No pity from me!

  • Gregg Weber SEATTLE, WA
    Aug. 31, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    IMHO there are 2 things here:
    The first is overly agressive and cowardly cops. By that I mean those that use force and intimidation to get what they want. This might be OK in some incidents but can be abused by those who feel they have absolute power.
    Cowardly means those who, with great padding and such are still afraid of getting hurt. They would rather shoot a person or dog than get injured (with little or no chance of being killed themselves). They are placeing a value on themselves unlike the rescuer who does everything possible to save someone. Think of the Congressional Metal of Honor.

    and

    more well armed cops.
    Three enemies:

    criminals,

    people by tyrants,
    (If some future Civil War ocures there will be a mixture of people on both sides, military, police, civilians, thugs and criminals. They will need equipment and training (if they are on the "right" side).)

    tyrants by people. However if they are on the tyrant's side then they must not be too well equipted.

    There are good cops and bad cops as with all people. We must be sure that they are indeed our "finest".

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Aug. 31, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    @NeilT --

    "The militarization of law enforcement is in response to the dangers presented by violent gangs, and drug dealers. "

    In reality, violent crime rates in this country have been dropping for decades. We shouldn't militarize an entire country's police forces because of one bank robbery.

    The more police forces militarize, the more we citizens will see police as "the enemy". And that's a LOUSY way to "serve and protect". Police need to work WITH the citizens -- not act as though they're an occupying force in a hostile territory.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 9:45 p.m.

    Jay Tee Thanks for the insult. I have worked in Law Enforcement, have BS degree from Weber State and a year of grad school. Do you have any idea what is required to work in law enforcement? The packet for the background check is several is several inches thick. You are polygraphed, interviewed and re-interviewed. To imply that police officers are low functioning or low intelligence is just plain wrong.

    A few years ago in Hollywood a bank robbery made national headlines. The perpetrators had body armor and armor piercing bullets. The cops were powerless to stop them. The militarization of law enforcement is in response to the dangers presented by violent gangs, and drug dealers. Look at what is happening in Mexico. Crime and violence are rampant and the authorities are powerless.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Aug. 30, 2013 3:59 p.m.

    @Cleetorn --

    "It's not the police who have made us afraid..."

    Violent crime rates in the US have been falling for decades. Yet all of a sudden our police decide that they absolutely must have military weaponry and that they must use stormtrooper tactics?

    One of my best friends from high school ended up spending years in prison because her *boyfriend* -- not she herself -- killed her baby. The tactics used by those detectives in their investigation, though nonviolent, were nonetheless despicable. Needless to say, I was not impressed.

    No, not all police are bad people -- but the police culture and mindset appear to be getting worse and worse with time.

    @oldschooler --

    This past July, a 60 year old unarmed man in Florida was shot at 13 times by two officers. His "crime" was that he was standing in his own driveway, looking for his own cigarettes in his own car. When the officers shouted at him, he straightened up and turned around to see what was going on. Instead of asking him what he was doing, they simply opened fire.

    Luckily, they were terrible shots. They "only" hit him twice.

    What "law" was he breaking?

  • Blunderbuss Silver City, NM
    Aug. 30, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    The militarization of police has become epidemic across the nation. The army-type tactics, and the heavy equipment sported by these men is more akin to the paramilitary Schutzstafeln than it is to those who (supposedly) are there to "Protect and Serve." Ironically, the Supreme Court found that police have no real obligation to "Protect" (2005 ruling by justices Scalia, Bader-Ginsburg, and Stevens). This decision overturned a Colorado appellate court ruling, which had ruled previously that officers who had failed in their "duty to protect" had failed to do so, leading to the deaths of three children who were at the center of a custody dispute in 1999. The father of the three children killed his daughters outside a police station in Castle Rock, CO. It was only at this point that police took any kind of action whatsoever. The Supreme Court ruling means that police have gotten a "get out of jail free" card whenever they choose doughnuts over responding to a call.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Aug. 30, 2013 2:51 p.m.

    The U.S.A does seem to becoming Orwellian in nature. It also appears that this is quite intentional on the part of the ultra wealthy.

  • donahoe NSL, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    About a decade ago, police raided a home in the town adjacent to the university of Maryland. They shot the dog and harassed the residents. It was the mayor's home. Woops.

  • danr San Bernardino, CA
    Aug. 30, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    What do we expect? The NRA and Utah's gun fanatics have made it so easy to get any kind of firearm, that the police now have to assume everyone is armed.

    So much for the safe society the NRA claimed we'd have with everyone running around armed to the teeth.

    Crime has been trending down for the past coupe of decades, but the gun fringe wants everyone to think it's more dangerous now. Fear and ignorance, fear and ignorance...

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    Aug. 30, 2013 2:05 p.m.

    (cont’d)
    I have been in Law Enforcement for over 30 years. I have never shot anyone though I have been shot at – and hit. My family is acutely aware of the definite possibility that I may come home at the end of my shift injured or not at all. I’m willing to do this for you as I care and want to think that what I do in my profession makes a positive difference. I will continue to protect you from an element that you have virtually no concept of. Most of my cohorts are of the same ilk. Some – the fringe – are not and need to be weeded out.

    But those few are NOT most of us. Were that not so, the Willard case never would have seen the light of day. The few who infiltrate any group to sensationalize and defame it are not in the mainstream. But we as a society focus on the miscreants. It’s our way. It’s not the police who have made us afraid. It is us preying on each other in more powerful and sophisticated ways that have necessitated a stronger response.

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    Aug. 30, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    EVERY group and/or association has some members who live by the virtues they extol and a fringe who use the cover of the organization to subvert those ideals and then claim “authority” to do so based on their professed credo. There are good cops and bad ones. There are good Jews, Catholics, Mormons, Protestants, Atheists and there are bad ones. There are good politicians, school teachers, dentists, accountants and bad ones. There are good LGBT’s and “straights” and bad ones.

    There is no escaping this fact. While the world is made up of all of them, the ones who are “good” go on with their daily lives unheralded, unsung and unnoticed. It’s the “fringe” who makes the headlines and draws our attention, condemnation and dirty looks. To categorize any of these solely by their fringe does more than a disservice to those who uphold their standards.
    (more . . .)

  • oldschooler USA, TX
    Aug. 30, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    Dear Beverly, for the most part the fatalities involving law enforcement officers could have been prevented if the individual obeys the law and like I said before carry out officer's instructions. I used to be in law enforcement and never had a problem with anyone following instrucctions, only once and due to attempting to hurt me, otherwise I would have not hit tis individual. With very few exemptions most officer do their job in a very clear manner: "firm and fair", as trained. Most of the victims resisted in a way either physically or verbally. There was a case where this girl tried to run over the detectives, a car is consider a weapon, trained officers have to use deadly force when their life is in danger, is part of the training, if you think too long you are dead, abd what about your family? is that simple.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 30, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    Today's local police force is more well-armed and more lethal than Hitler's domestic police - the Gestapo - ever was.
    ______________________________

    They'd better be. The days of the standard issue sidearm for police use was the .38 caliber six-shot revolver came to end when the firepower out on the street had them outgunned.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    BTW - One other comment.

    It goes both ways --

    As more and more citizens hate and see their Government as the enemy,
    the Government will assume more and more citizens as potential "perps".

  • JBT Provo, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    @ Nosea
    You described this statement as a problem "Just look at the ratio of civilians to police officers killed, and you will see that it is overwhelming civilians that are being killed in police to civilian encounters.."
    First, I would hope you're not suggesting the ratio should be more even..?? That would be Very scary..
    Second, This is actually a GREAT thing!! This means Law Enforcement training is paying off! This means cops are learning to defend themselves better against criminals! I for one would love to see a day where there were ZERO police officer fatalities. Sounds like Law Enforcement is moving in the right direction!

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    Today's local police force is more well-armed and more lethal than Hitler's domestic police - the Gestapo - ever was.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    Re: "We need to resist a culture of militarism."

    Tell that to bad guys.

    Because of the murder of cops, like those during the marijuana-grow raid in Odgen, or the traffic stop in Millard County, police can no longer maintain a Mayberry-like profile in modern America.

    This is due primarily to the moral rot initiated by the liberal sex-drugs-rock'n roll culture that controls the American media. That's why its so comical that it's that same diseased culture that is currently protesting the very condition it created.

    Cops would love to return to Mayberry days, but that can't happen until respect for the rule of law is re-enshrined as an important American value.

    Congress and the White House would be a great place to start, but that seems unlikely, considering all the pro-lawbreaker positions advocated by the liberals currently in power.

  • JBT Provo, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    WOW... Very Scary times we live in!! We as a society need to wake up and recognize that there are poisonous groups of people that are attempting to destroy our freedoms & our liberties!; people that are actively trying to give power back to the criminals. People that are preaching the idea that criminals shouldn't be held accountable, and that cops should be held accountable for trying to stop crime.. Poisonous People that preach crazy ideas that cops should lay down their weapons and allow criminals to move about freely and prey on the weak. Scary people who believe its OKAY for a cop to kill a person to save another persons life, but that it's NOT okay for a cop to save his own life... Yes, scary indeed.
    You can certainly look at these so-called 'victims of police brutality' as victims. But for me, I see them for what they Really are/were, Criminals!
    Go back and read oldschooler's comment. It really is that simple! and had these so-called 'Victims' followed olschoolers advice, they'd still be alive!

  • Archie1954 Vancouver, BC
    Aug. 30, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    Americans are truly ignorant if they thought for one second that their nation could brutalise the rest of the world and they could escape their own brutalisation at home. It doesn't work that way. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Americans are now paying for not caring what horrors their country visited on poor peoples of the third world!

  • Let's be reasonable Baghdad, 00
    Aug. 30, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    The one thing that I did not see on this comment board was a discussion behind some of the reasoning for the added body armor and increase in firepower of some parts of most police departments. The criminal is increasing his firepower and his tactics. If a department does a strategic analysis, they see it behooves them to have SOMEONE on their team that can stand up to the new risks in police work that have escalated in the last 40 years. No one does traffic stops with grenade launchers or "surrounds" the vehicle in a "pincer" attack. Of the instances in Utah that there have been deaths at the hands of police officers in my recollections of the last several years, the deaths were most usually by officers in non-SWAT, non "military-style" equipment. The Ogden warrant served was more than above the law. they had a warrant, they served it, he opened fire on them wounding and killing. He chose to end his life. That the police react to a development they do not control is not their fault. Ask the criminals to play nice and the cops will too. I promise.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Aug. 30, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    Craig Clark:

    It is not like they say, and I used to believe, "a few bad apples," meaning a few police behaving badly. At this point it looks like the whole bushel of apples has gone bad. Just look at the ratio of civilians to police officers killed, and you will see that it is overwhelming civilians that are being killed in police to civilian encounters, and often over trifling matters that would come nowhere near a death sentence in a court of law. That strongly suggests something has gone really awry with law enforcement, and just maybe we have turned into a de facto police state -- also witness TSA at work.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    Too broad a brush. Most cop shooting are lawful and necessary. They deserve our support and sympathy for those.

    In some cases it is a tragic error in judgment, but with only split seconds to decide, sometimes mistakes are made. They deserve our support and sympathy for these, and they DO try to figure out how to avoid such incidents.

    In a few cases, rogue or bad cops unlawfully kill someone, and the law has provisions to deal with them.

    The issue of "militarization" is a separate issue, and subject to debate. In many jurisdictions it has gone too far, involved folks with undesirable attitudes and should be stopped. In others, it is a valuable tool in their toolbox, and prudence demands it be called out just in case it is needed. It is a tough balancing act.

    Support our cops- the good ones, not the bad ones
    Condemn the criminals, even if their families consider them to be saints.
    Protect the innocent.

  • Elaine Douglass Grand, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    I was electrified when I heard about Radly Balko's book Rise of the Warrier Cop yesterday on NPR & I ordered it immediately from Amazon. Now I see he was in SL giving a talk & a lot of people showed up. The militarization of the police is a matter I am highly concerned about, along with mass surveillance of US citizens, persecution of whistle blowers, ammunition purchases by federal agencies, license plate surveillance, facial recognition surveillance, etc, the whole ball of wax. I am up in arms about all of it & I will NOT vote for any elected official who tries to justify any of it. Craig Clarks comment, "Let's stop refracting broad & wild generalizations"--he's asleep, he's one of the sheeples. He needs to read Balko's book.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 30, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    It’s distressing to hear of tragic results when a police officer uses poor judgment. I can’t imagine how it must be for the victim’s family.

    Nor can I imagine what it’s like for the family of a police officer who is killed in the line of duty. Dedicated police officers put their lives on the line every day when they go to work. Their job is to protect the public safety from an element of society most of us do not want to have to deal with. That’s why we pay them. Their daily efforts often go unreported.

    My sympathy goes out to the families of all victims of violence. But let's stop refracting broad and wild generalizations.

  • fredsgirl1 usa, MA
    Aug. 30, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    I have not lost anyone, but I too am concerned by the change in law enforcement. Too many times the suspects are shot before their side of the conflict can be heard. In the case of the Marathon bomber, the police accidently shot one of their own and blamed the terrorist. The trouble was the kid was unarmed. The boat he was hiding in looked like swiss cheese by the time to police had finished. Several people in nearby houses had shots go through their walls. It all seemed to be over the top to me.

  • midvale guy MIDVALE, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    I believe police militarization of the definitely valid issue. The police are supposed to be a civilian organization. viewing it through who was killed by the police is probably not a valid perspective. I'm sure most of the people killed by the police are justified. The West Valley City police have been mismanaged and are out-of-control, the truth is they have been since the inception of the city. Like all organizations even cities have to mature. But having the police turn into paramilitary organization is wrong. It is going to continue because the whole federal government is doing the same thing. We now have TSA agents that will be assigned at public events, football games etc. as we all know, the Homeland security act is to keep other people out as much of it is to keep us in.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    There is no question that our local police have become militarized. They LOVE to send the SWAT team whenever possible. But not only our police, but many government agencies have also become militarized, from Homeland Security, the IRS, the Forest Service, etc.

    They've convinced everyone to look the other way. And like sheep, they oblige.

    And for those of you who think it's great, consider this, at what point would you say "That's enough"? If it's all about protecting these fine men and women, why not provide them tanks? (Some communities are actually doing this.)

    And for those of you who say it's all about protecting our borders and keeping our nation secure, then why have our borders been left open and our border patrol told to stand down?

    Further, where's the left that bemoaned police brutality in the 1960s and 1970s? Why are they silent today?

    The unfortunate truth is that we have quickly become a police-state. The militarization of our police and government agencies has nothing to do with protecting the people or our borders. The unlawful monitoring of our phone calls and internet activity is further proof of this.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    Anyone who thinks that law enforcement militarization is NOT getting out of hand needs a reality check.

    Exhibit A:

    Just a few weeks ago -- at the end of July -- the Society of St. Francis animal shelter in Kenosha, WI, was raided by thirteen heavily armed law officers.

    These agents of the "law" had already surveilled the shelter, going so far as to take aerial photos before the raid.

    Agents corralled all the workers, then seized the perp and carried it out in a body bag.

    One shelter employee had her phone seized because she was taking pictures of the raid. Nobody was allowed to make any phone calls.

    The official in charge compared it to a drug raid.

    The perp?

    A baby fawn.

    Yes, one baby fawn.

    And that's what our "law enforcement" is coming to, folks.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    I don't think we're painting with any kind of "broad brush" here. I think most of us would like to believe that there are still good people out there in uniform, just as there are good Muslims in the world who decry terrorism of every kind. But unfortunately, when the good ones are silent, they're partially endorsing the cause of the bad ones. The good police officers, of all people on the planet, should be working aggressively to police their own. Those who support the foolishness, run to the protection of a union, or also just pretend that it isn't happening are doing themselves and the rest of us a monumental disservice. Also, I don't think all people who adhere to the principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are "left wing." There will always be those who categorize all law enforcement as "pigs" because they strongly resent any enforcement of laws, but there are also those of us who consider ourselves conservative who will never rationalize the abuse of power and authority.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    @ oldschooler
    USA, TX

    True to some people but those who are mentally ill, hearing or visually (or both) impaired or some form of addiction may not think or be aware. Lets see those cops can figure that out. What happened to those Andy Griffith days in small town. I freaked out (mid 70's) when a cop in Novato, Calif grab his gun at me when I was taking a short cut entering the wrong way freeway toward the trail head to work. There is no need to wear those army stuff as a Normal Cop Stuff.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    It is wrong to paint the entire profession of dedicated officers with a broad brush. To do so, only reveals the painters as left wing.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:16 a.m.

    This article really rings home. West Valley and Ogden Police departments are great examples of what we DO NOT want. We don't want warriors patrolling our streets. Warriors know how to wage war. We need Peace officers, something that is missing entirely.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    The German Gestapo would murder German citizens over petty issues also, just because they would not comply with everything the officer demanded for instance -- is that really the kind of police state we want to live in in the US? That is where we are headed with way too many citizens being killed by police officers in any encounter they have over most often trifling matters. Do we want to give that kind of authority to often the least intelligent among us who go into law enforcement -- giving the most fire power to those often the least educated (certainly judging by some of the officers I have ran into)? I am sympathetic to this cause, and certainly do not want a police state for my children to grow up in.

  • Crossfire5 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    On January 4, 2012, Officer Mared Francom, 30, of ogden PD was shot and killed from ambush in the home of Matthew David Stewart. Five other officers were wouded in the ambush. This occurred during the service of a legal warrant on Stewart's home where he was growing marijuana. Francom left behind a wife, Erin, and two little girls, Samantha and Hailey. Was he remembered by the crowd at the library last night?

    Danielle Wars may have been slight of build, but she was evidently using her very heavy Subaru vehicle as a weapon when she backed toward Officer Cowley at a high rate of speed. it seems that officers like Cowley, Francom, and others must join the statistics of Utah peace officers killed in the line of duty before certain groups of citizens are satisfied.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    It's a sad day when we're actually paying and funding our enemies in this country. Unfortunately, the functional intelligence and ethical standards and requirements for someone hired in law enforcement are often amazingly low. Whenever there's a monopoly on power and/or resources, there are a number of individuals who display their character weaknesses by being "large and in-charge" and quick to lord it over others. Almost as astounding is the number of naive people who are quick to jump to the defense of the aggressors, and claim that "If you just comply completely and do as you're asked, all will be well and there will be no problem." The exact same phenomenon was seen in Germany with Hitler, and in Russia with Stalin. People will continue to put their pictures of food on Facebook, and in effect say, "Well, if it doesn't affect me personally, then I don't want to think about it." Sad days for America.

  • DesignerGenes Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 7:52 a.m.

    I think it's telling that many police cars in the valley have changed their stenciled slogan from "To Protect and Serve," to "Solve the Problem." If you're not a cop, you're a 'perp' according to police logic. And you know exactly how the militarized police go about solving the problem.

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    Dear Oldschooler:
    If only life was that simple. Police officers are human beings. Like all of us, they make mistakes. If you work in a non-threatening job, your mistakes will not hurt anyone. When you work in an environment filled with risk and threats, and you have the legal power to arrest, use force, and so forth, when mistakes are made, the can destroy lives. Just following the directions of a police officer is not sufficient advice to prevent the current problems facing Utah law enforcement.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Aug. 30, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    No police wants to take a life and it is split 2nd decision. As for military even the Us military is were it is for mostly unselfish reasons. Taking a human life is the last thing any police officer wants to do and try to avoid it at all costs. IF people cooperated there would be no police slayings. Besides many police put there lives on the line to protect us. When a fatality occurs it is either the individual or the police.

  • oldschooler USA, TX
    Aug. 30, 2013 6:30 a.m.

    If people just do what an officer asks you to do as soon as they tell, there would be a LOT less incidents and deaths, but keep resisting and arguing and these are the results. Just obey the law and carry out officer' orders, is that simple.

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 5:59 a.m.

    If the 9/11 terrorist attack destoryed anything in America, it destroyed Community Policing. As funding flowed from the federal government to local law enforcement, most of the funds were earmarked for equipment that is better suited for war than helping communities. Equipment designed for war creates training designed for war like tactics. In the process officers view the community as the enemy and the only trustworthy people are other police officers. It is a national shame.

  • IdahoStranger NEWDALE, ID
    Aug. 30, 2013 5:54 a.m.

    Tragic indeed! My condolences to those who have been wronged. May God bless you to find peace. I commend you for trying to right the wrong and prevent future events.

    Some very valid concerns are reflected here. The effort to take away local control of our police has been going on for many years. President Obama has said that he wants and needs a national police force as large as our military! Stop and think about the ramifications of that for a minute.

    Google: "Support your local police and keep them independent" to find out more and what you can do to keep our police forces under local control.

    And perhaps we should bring our military home to defend our own borders as well. All the spillover from loose borders is placing enormous pressure on our local police to deal with problems that should be stopped at the borders.

    At the same time I would like to commend and thank all the police officers who sincerely try to perform their jobs in a manner consistent with our constitution and who are trying sincerely to "Protect and Serve". That is not an easy job. I salute you!