Group supporting Matthew Stewart decries 'war on drugs' tactics in Jan. 4 shootout

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  • Spell_It_Right Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2012 11:00 a.m.

    I think the federal government should care less about money and more about citizen lives. Especially those who swear to uphold the laws that they make and all for political gain. Unwanted and outdated policies are the reason for a whole generation of people becoming victims of the senseless war on drugs. If you want someone to blame how about blaming the corporations who line our politicians pockets with money to keep drugs illegal? The political reality still is that our "leaders" don't think there are enough votes for the investigation of possible change of the current drug policy. I think a lot of people would be surprised to find out that issues of public health and safety were not even considered by Congress in making marijuana an illegal substance.

  • Kmiai South Ogden, UT
    April 14, 2012 3:38 p.m.

    I attended the event on Thursday evening and I didn't hear anyone defending what Mr Stewart did. The intended focus was on how our community can prevent this type of thing from happening again. It seems to me that there can be better ways of dealing with both of these problems (drugs and violence). The comments here are not helping with either. The fact is, we have problems and all anyone here is doing is voicing hate.

  • Hard Focus DENVER, CO
    April 14, 2012 10:11 a.m.

    You can tell a lot about a persons character by the friends/company they have/keep. These friends and companions of Stewart share the same anti-Law Enforcement/Pro-Illegal Narcotic Ideologies as their dope-lovin', cop-killin' friend they've rallied to support. "Keep the Peace"? Hardly. The very fact they support Stewart tells an entirely different story.

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    April 13, 2012 2:54 p.m.

    Jonathan Eddy,

    Don't go where? I was merely pointing out that you needn't agree with certain legislation in order to enforce it and support its enforcement. The question being brought forward by you and this group, about whether drug laws are wise, can in no way justify Matthew Stewart's actions. The police enforce laws; they don't choose whether to enforce them depending on their own personal morals. Similarly, if Matthew believed the laws should be changed, he should have done it legally and non-violently, and his friends and supporters shouldn't be trying to justify his actions in that regard.

  • Trooper55 Williams, AZ
    April 13, 2012 1:02 p.m.

    I say that when you open fire on Police Officers and carry it past a point you are guilty and when you break the laws of this country you must pay the pentlies. I noticed there were alot of posting on people killed by mistake, why don't you look at how many officers lost their life in the line of duty. This group want you to feel sorry for Matthew and I don't buy it. I say let the legal systems and I would give money quicker to the fallen Officer's family than to the denfense of a person who took a life and injuried several others. I hope that he gets what he desevered in a court of law.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    April 13, 2012 12:19 p.m.

    They couldn't arrest Matthew Stafford at work, because this team was just serving a search warrant.

    The only person who made this violent is Matthew Stafford. The police try to serve at a time when the suspect would be present, but if the suspect is obviously not home, the warrant allows a search.

    The police knocked and yelled, to no answer. They entered to fulfill a warrant, and were ambushed in the worst possible way by a man with full intent of killing police.

    The Stafford family are proving to be the type of people who will blame other people for everything that they do not like. I am embarassed for the Staffords for trying to find justification of Matthew's actions.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    April 13, 2012 11:25 a.m.


    Don't go there. First and foremost, we need to protect our men and women in blue with the best laws and the best equipment that money can buy. Trust me. I know from personal experience of which I speak.

    Let's be rational, not emotional. I am asking a difficult but logical question for the sake of the safety of the police and the public at large. Notwithstanding the stupidity of a defiant suspect, is it worth shooting it out for a weed that can grow healthy in the cracks of concrete?

    If it is worth it, fine. Let's arm the police to the teeth and allow them to use fatal force if and whenever it is necessary. But do we do so at the risk of losing lives in spite of the fact that the masses, regardless of the law, WILL categorically get liquored up and weeded up forever and a day?

    We have a society of self medicators. That's a fact. Some choose smoke over pills or liquids. Must we lose citizens and officers over the never ending struggle to codify the acceptability or unacceptability of specific mind altering substances?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 13, 2012 11:22 a.m.

    Re: ". . . all I can say is it is pretty heartless to not be angry about innocent people that are being called collateral damage in the drug war . . . ."


    So why aren't people identifying themselves as "Keep the Peace" and their supporters angry at Stewart and his buddies in the illicit drug business that are the cause of it all?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    April 13, 2012 11:19 a.m.

    procuradorfiscal said
    Re: "Why not arrest him at work . . . ?
    That's what they did -- arrested him at his place of business.

    Try paying attention to facts of the case instead of joking about people being killed.

    Violence begets violence, and America is all about "declaring war" on everything.

    When your door is mistakenly kicked in because of a wrong address, during the night with a loud'll do what?

    NeilT said: Unbelieveable. He planned this ambush out.
    Because he had prior knowledge of the warrant to be served?
    Who in the police department tipped him off?

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    April 13, 2012 11:15 a.m.

    all I can say is it is pretty heartless to not be angry about innocent people that are being called collateral damage in the drug war; a war on our own people. for all the gun owners out there; what would you do if someone broke into your house in the middle of the night?

    Alberta Spruill;57 years old Harlem, New York: Police, acting on a tip, forced their way into Spruill’s home, setting off flash grenades. She suffered a heart attack and died. It was the wrong address.

    Kenneth B. Walker 39 years old Columbus, Georgia: Walker and three companions were pulled over in an SUV by police in a drug investigation. No drugs or weapons were found, but Walker was shot in the head. Walker was a devoted husband and father, a respected member of his church, and a 15-year middle-management employee of Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
    Deputy David Glisson, who killed Walker, was fired three months later for failing to cooperate in an investigation into the shooting.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 13, 2012 10:52 a.m.

    Re: "Why not arrest him at work . . . ?

    That's what they did -- arrested him at his place of business.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 13, 2012 10:50 a.m.

    Re: "Alberto Sepulveda 11 years old . . . killed by a shotgun blast to the back . . . during a SWAT raid."

    You can thank Stewart and those callously supporting and defending his actions for each and every one of these unnecessary deaths.

    Police are required to engage in military tactics because those are the tactics Stewart and his friends in the drug business use against them.

    Blaming police for drug-cartel-related violence is qualitatively equivalent to blaming them for pedophile violence against children.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    April 13, 2012 10:00 a.m.

    I have some very simple questions that I would like answers to.

    Why not arrest him at work, where you know he is likely to be unarmed and easy to take into custody?

    Why mount a military style operation in the middle of the night into someone's house, where Americans are told that they have the right to shoot intruders?

    Why is it necessary to have this scale of operation for something as minor as growing marijuana, while there are criminals in 3-piece suits stealing billions of dollars from us every day?

  • SittingReading Sandy, UT
    April 13, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    Since VIDAR feels the need to mention all the people "murdered" by police for innocent breaking of the law, lets not leave anyone out. Lets start naming ever person in this country who is murdered by people high on drugs who just want more money or drugs or because the moment came to them. I'll make it easy for you to start this list.

    Jared Francom: Murdered by someone who wanted to make a political point apparently.

    Believe me. You can name all the people you want who were killed by police. And that list still won't scratch the surface of those killed by druggies or those invested in the drug trade. And that is in the US alone. It is much worse overseas.

    Stewart is a cold blooded killer. Nothing more nothing less. You serve no one by trying to make him appear to be the victim.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 13, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    Stewart's supporters are using this event as a pretext for legalizing drugs rather than a primary defense of the suspect. Visiting Amsterdam or Vancouver, BC to see the effects of legalized drugs gives a grim perspective on the downside of legalization. Either option carries significant bad consequences.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    April 13, 2012 9:11 a.m.

    Cheryl Noel 44 years old Dunkalk, Maryland: Substitute Sunday School Teacher Cheryl Noel possessed a registered handgun, which she kept in her bedroom (9 years earlier, Cheryl has lost her 16-year-old stepdaughter in a shooting murder). On January 19, just before 5 am, police burst into her home using flash-bang grenade and battering ram looking for drugs. Both Cheryl and her husband were asleep in the master bedroom. Suddenly awake and fearing an armed intrusion, Cheryl grabbed her gun. Police kicked in the bedroom door and shot her 3 times.

    Deputy Keith Ruiz 36 years old Travis County, Texas: In the process of serving a drug warrant, he was trying to break down the door to a mobile home occupied by painter Edwin Delamora, his wife, and two young children. Confused by the raid at night, Delamora yelled to his wife that they were being robbed and shot through the door, killing Ruiz.

    Alberto Sepulveda 11 years old Modesto, California: Alberto was killed by a shotgun blast to the back while following police orders and lying face down on the floor during a SWAT raid. He was a seventh-grader at Prescott Senior Elementary School.

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    April 13, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    Well, Jonathan Eddy and VIDAR, I certainly hope that you believe that the best way to fight "bad legislation" is not by getting into gunfights with police officers, as this group seems to think.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    April 13, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    Derek Hale:25 years old: Wilmington, Delaware: A retired Marine Sergeant who served two tours in Iraq, was peacefully sitting on the front stoop of a house, when police in unmarked cars who had him under surveillance (believing based on his acquaintances that he might be part of a narcotics ring) pulled up and tasered him three times, causing him to go into convulsions and throw up. Because he had not gotten his hand free from his jacket quickly enough (while convulsing) an officer then shot him point blank in the chest with three .40 caliber rounds. Hale’s widow has filed a civil lawsuit.

    Willie Heard 46 years old:Osawatomie, Kansas:SWAT conducted a no-knock drug raid, complete with flash-bang grenades. Heard was shot to death in front of his wife and 16-year-old daughter who had cried for help. Fearing home invasion, he was holding an empty rifle. The raid was at the wrong house

    Ismael Mena:45 years old:Denver, Colorado: Mena was killed when police barged into his house looking for drugs. They had the wrong address.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    April 13, 2012 8:59 a.m.

    John Adams 64 years old:Lebanon, Tennessee: Shot to death during a SWAT drug raid while watching TV. The house didn’t match the description on the warrant.

    Rudolfo “Rudy” Cardenas: Rudy was a father of five who was passing by a house targeted by narcotics officers attempting to serve a parole violation warrant and the police mistakenly thought he was the one they were there to arrest. They chased Cardenas, and he fled, apparently afraid of them (they were not uniformed). Cardenas was shot multiple times in the back. Dorothy Duckett, 78, told the Mercury News she looked out her fifth-floor window after hearing one gunshot and saw Cardenas pleading for his life. “I watched him running with his hands in the air. He kept saying, ‘Don’t shoot. Don’t shoot,’” Duckett said. “He had absolutely nothing in his hands.”

    Annie Rae Dixon 84 years oldTyler, Texas: Bedridden with pneumonia during a drug raid. Officer kicked open her bedroom door and accidentally shot her.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    April 13, 2012 8:33 a.m.

    History has proven that the war on alcohol was bad legislation. Thankfully, the end to prohibition pretty much ended unnecessary deaths caused by liquor drinkers, gangs and police. (Too bad we can't end useless alcohol related traffic and domestic violence deaths).

    Now, we must ask ourselves. Has the time come to consider putting an end to more bad legislation? Is personal manufacture and consumption of the marijuana plant any more dangerous than the more fashionable alcohol consumption? Does personal use of MJ really kill more people than a six pack of Bud? What do the police say? Physicians? Psychiatrists?

    I'm not too thrilled when people are in any state of inebriation regardless of the chemical compound, but if your neighbor feels the pangs to get high, what difference does it make whether they do so by acquiring the drug of choice at a 7-11 or harvesting it in their backyard?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 13, 2012 8:04 a.m.

    Yes, it was all the police’s fault that Stewart was relentless in firing on officers that night, continuing to shoot officers after they were down, firing on officers as they tried to get their wounded brothers out of the house, and then following the officers even after they had left the house, shooting at them from his front door into the street. That was all a spur-of-the-moment, defensive reaction to someone breaking into his drug-store, er, I mean his house.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 13, 2012 7:54 a.m.

    One word. Uneducated

  • md Cache, UT
    April 13, 2012 6:56 a.m.

    Wow. I think more people support the family of the injured and slain police officers.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    April 13, 2012 3:02 a.m.

    Unbelieveable. He planned this ambush out. There is no justification for what he did. I have no issue with those who question the validity of the war on drugs and the tactics used. That is a different issue.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 13, 2012 2:44 a.m.

    Re: ". . . conduct t a balanced review of the incident, 'instead of trying to blame it all on Matt.'"

    Yeah, let's be sure and balance his marijuana-grow operation, his cold-blooded murder of one officer, and his attempts to murder several more with . . . what?

    And let's be sure and blame . . . who else?

    The very tactics these clueless drug promoters complain of are made necessary by their vicious, drug-cartel-esque sense that the laws of the Nation only apply to others, not to them.

    Stewart, alone -- not the law, not police, not decent society -- is responsible for his arrogant, disregard of the lives of several of Utah's finest, and he, alone, must bear the burden of proving he should live, notwithstanding his callous elevation of his vice and illicit business above the lives and families of his innocent victims.