Agents used 'Dirty Harry' tactics and traumatized family, Mark Shurtleff says

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 4, 2014 4:17 p.m.

    The shoe's on the other foot now. Head law enforcement guy is on the receiving end of a search warrant.

    How many search warrants has he signed and never even worried about what will happen?

    Kinda funny to hear Mark Shurtleff complaining about people coming into his house and looking at his papers as "Dirty Harry types".

    He expressed no sympathy when police armed with automatic weapons and assault vehicles broke down the doors of the FLDS families and their temple in Texas and went through every inch of their homes, took their computers, diaries, pictures, documents, and dragged their kids away from their mothers and put them on buses, possibly never to be seen by their parents again... Now THAT's Dirty Harry type treatment (IMO)

  • mightyhunterhaha Kaysville, UT
    June 4, 2014 12:12 p.m.

    "Cry me a River!". Shurtleff is claiming "Dirty harry tactics", as I watched the news report of the search I never saw anything that would back his claim. Yes the search was secretive but that was done to protect the Shurtleff's. He is claiming his innocence and says those who reported him are liars and criminals. Funny thing is at one time those people were not criminals. They were caught with their hand in the cookie jar. He s right where they were before convictions. Shurtleff may or may not be convicted. At the very least he has questionable ethics as seen with his associations. That in an of it's self violated the Law Enforcement Ethic. If he committed a crime I hope they throw the book at him and make an example of him.

  • SharpHooks Sandy, UT
    June 4, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    @ Lia

    Lia-- THAT was hilarious! When I got the to the "A-Team van" portion I was literally in pain from laughing! That made my day!

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    June 4, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    me thinks he doth protest too much

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 4, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    "A man has got to know his limitations..."

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 4, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    When he was AG, he had no problem with the sort of searches he describes. Why does he think an exception should be made for his own case?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    June 4, 2014 7:59 a.m.

    When he ran for office he was going to be "tough on crime" and support one hundred percent local "law enforcement". Things change when shoe is on other foot.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    June 4, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    A search warrent in an obviously no danger house. Keep the guns in the holsters. Cops now days are having some real problems with telling the difference between an actual violent offender and someone who would cooperate fully with them, if they would just use common sense.

    Shurtleff is in deep doo doo.

  • byufootballrocks Saratoga Springs, UT
    June 4, 2014 6:18 a.m.

    So at least have the courage to serve your warrant when the man's in town.

    And don't bring your guns in and terrorize a 17-year old girl.

    And don't give us this garbage that was on KSL news last night about "you never know what's behind that door" when you know you are going into the home of a family man and and a former public servant in a suburban neighborhood - give me a break. Use some common sense.

    And, if you really have the goods on Mr. Shurtleff, why are you still "investigating" months and even years afterward?

    Is it justify yourselves? Is it to keep the paychecks coming?

    And after the ninth investigation turns up no convictions, and all the money, time, and effort is completely wasted, then the principles who were accused are left asking, like a famous Washington official from years ago who was finally exonerated after a long vivisection such as this, "Ok, now how do I get my good name back?"

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 3, 2014 11:53 p.m.

    'Dirty Harry' is a GOP stooge having conversations with furniture these days. Anyway, surely Mr. Shurtleff has no issue with 'justice' and 'law and order' does he? Or is he some sort of socialist?

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 3, 2014 11:28 p.m.

    "Go ahead, make my day."

  • Solutions not Stones Spanish Fork, UT
    June 3, 2014 11:16 p.m.

    Let me preface this by saying that I am not a real big fan of Mark Shurtleff, but I will not go into that. I nor anyone else here is in possession of the facts of what happened. But I completely agree with the sentiment expressed by many that we need to demilitarize local, state, and especially federal law enforcement. There is a place for SWAT teams and SWAT tactics but not in the homes of non-violent, innocent until proven guilty, free citizens of this country (not to mention their children).

    What we really need are more "officer friendlies" and less "robocops".

  • arand Huntsville, u
    June 3, 2014 8:48 p.m.

    A little over the top if that is what actually went down. really, all they needed were the computers.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 8:46 p.m.

    Ok, look at the picture published above the story. Is this a picture of the agents involved in the raid or a bunch of neighbors in the driveway trying to find out what was going on? No guns. Now body armor. No lasers. If they were supposed to be storm troopers someone miscast this movie.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 3, 2014 7:19 p.m.

    Why is it I just can't believe this guy? Why do I read this and think that his is over exaggerating things to an extreme degree?

  • John Locke Ivins, , UT
    June 3, 2014 7:12 p.m.

    I sure that if he were a democrat, this would not have gone this way. The purpose is to embarrass him and his family to the neighbors and to the world. He would not have fled.

    White collar crimes ought to be handled a little differently...he is not a wanted criminal, did not commit a physical crime against anyone; and is not guilty of anything, yet.

    No danger to anyone, no previous instances of violence. He is a respected former AG and a lawyer and knew that his home might be he's going to wait until they knock down the door to flush his paperwork down the toilet? These are really Gestapo tactics. Shameful.

  • Ironman SANTA CLARA, UT
    June 3, 2014 7:03 p.m.

    How many law enforcement agents does it take to harass two teenage children? They conducted the search when they knew that the parents were not home?

    I count eleven in the photo with at least two more in the car.

    What a waste of taxpayer money.

  • roberto Moses Lake, WA
    June 3, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    I agree with fitness freak that we probably should take what the kids with a grain of salt, BUT I also believe that most anything that a politician says should also be taken with a grain of salt. And tums.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    June 3, 2014 5:14 p.m.

    Not so fun when the shoe is on the other foot. I probably agree with Shurtleff that this was unacceptable behavior, but then again, our police force has become militarized and every search warrant is executed as if a raid in Iraq. Unfortunately, this is SOP for our police today. Probably 90% of the raids the police go on, could be done without so much force. Hard to feel to sympathetic when he condoned these actions as a AG.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 3, 2014 4:46 p.m.

    If the drawn guns allegation is true, and as DPS said "Agents...didn't treat the search warrants differently than they would in any other case." then we really need to change that.

    While a massive show of force and intimidation tactics may be appropriate on a no-knock drug raid suspected terrorists, or gang members or other potentially violent criminals, it is totally unjustified for non-violent white collar criminal cases. Not only it is unjustified, it is outrageous, and should be illegal.

    Nearly every police agency in the country has become overly militarized, equipped with firepower equivalent to armies, and trained in jack-booted thug tactics worthy of the Gestapo, not criminal law enforcement in a peaceful country.

    Cases like this, where there are highly partisan politicians (Sim Gill) involved crank up the "raid" teams and tactics for maximum visual effect for the TV news, and to send a subtle message to all opponents. At the federal level, it is even worse and more abused, even by obscure agencies with SWAT teams the are itching to justify.

    Demilitarize the cops for routine search warrants.

    And, provide a legal route to compensation for abuses!

  • RickH Blaine, WA
    June 3, 2014 4:43 p.m.


    Why haven't the John's been charged yet? I am cynical enough to think that the "good ol' boys" in the legislature haven't covered their butts enough.

    IF anything comes of this, it will be interesting to see how far it reaches.

  • Cougar11 Highland, UT
    June 3, 2014 4:30 p.m.

    Not a fan of the former Attorney General. Yet, I wouldn't doubt at all that cops came with guns drawn. I'm sure they went home satisfied and laughing about scaring the hell out of a teenager. Search Warrants don't demand that you turn into storm troopers. A police officer should be wary because you don't know what type of welcoming you are going to get but pulling weapons should ONLY be done when a threat is imminant. But in this country there is no recourse. What are you going to do? File a complaint, laughable. To what end. We laugh and say well you did it too and in the meantime our freedoms erode and our expectations for police professionalism disappears when it isn't us that just got trashed.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 3, 2014 4:25 p.m.

    Re Laura Bilington

    You have your opinion, for thousands of years people differed from what you believe. This included the Mormon pioneers and all others of their time. Who is wrong? .. who is right? Is there an an authoritive arbitor?

    What about nature, what does nature 'say'? At puberty when the outer body changes for male and female, both sexes are attracted to each other, you can interpret this to mean nothing, or you can interpret this as natures way saying now is the time to begin coming together.

  • aghast SYRACUSE, UT
    June 3, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    Though I question his innocence and that of Swallow - what could you possibly hope to find at their homes after such a long period of time? Let's wait a year and see if they keep something that might prove them guilty - aw cmon - they are not even that stupid. If they kept it they would not keep it on their own property - it is in a vault of a friend somewhere or buried in a secret place.

  • Frogs, Fish, Windmills & Dams St. George, UT
    June 3, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    I really doubt that Shurtleff is telling the story as it happened. Being previously the top Utah attorney, he well knows that they don't use such tactics without reason. All he's trying to do is sway public opinion. I guess he might be doing it, but not the direction he's expecting.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    June 3, 2014 4:12 p.m.

    The cops were acting as if they were arresting a drug dealer or something. This was only a search warrant in a white-collar crime case, for crying out loud!

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    June 3, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    Might encourage him to become a liberal who backs the Constitution and wants the cops demilitarized.

    I am thinking every Attorney General and District Attorney ought to go through a fully militarized no-knock raid, with no warning whatsoever, during their first six months in office. Be good for them.

  • SharpHooks Sandy, UT
    June 3, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    I find myself very unsympathetic towards Shurtleff. He has been standoffish, and has not been forthcoming in the face of the investigations he finds himself mired in. Sorry, but I thought he was here to serve the people of Utah, not himself.
    While he may well end up cleared, being and dealing with people of questionable ethics--a LOT, having a 'fixer'- for some reason, and being even remotely associated with any perceived impropriety is no place for an Attorney General.
    He brought all of this upon himself, and the story he delivers is not commensurate with a warrant being served on a white collar crime.
    He has come to reaping the consequences of his ill-born doings, and for him to try and elicit sympathy makes him appear even more guilty.
    In today's day and age one must do the utmost to separate himself from any perceived wrong-doing, and he did none of that.
    Sorry they messed up your house Mark, but you asked for it.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    Let's see now, the former AG says "someone will pay for this when I am exonerated" and the head of the State committee that investigated the mess and seen the evidence says: "I won't be surprised at all if he is indicted." Two honorable Republicans equally firm but opposite in their positions...which to believe??

    I wouldn't pretend at this point to believe that there will be a conviction in the matter, but I would love to see one or both at least made to do the perp walk.

  • U-tar Woodland Hills, UT
    June 3, 2014 2:50 p.m.

    It is interesting to contemplate that the treatment he is receiving is what he was dealing out as an attorney, now he is on the other side of the fence. hard to muster too much sympathy.

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    June 3, 2014 2:48 p.m.

    I guess the only viable options are you "hide yo kids, hide yo wives."

    Only way to avoid lasers.

  • dan76 san antonio, TX
    June 3, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    "I think if they’ll do that to me, with my entire life and career in service to law enforcement and public safety, they'll do it to anybody,"

    You're correct

    Primarily due to the fact you've allowed such tactics upon other folks during your AG tenure.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 3, 2014 2:31 p.m.

    @cjb writes, "what modern society considers to be under age girls.
    Um, cjb, we don't just "consider" them underage. They ARE underage.

    "The fact that we have changed our views doesn't change the morality of the situation."

    Yes it does. Please remember that the exposure of an ankle was "immoral" 150 years ago. And in Iran, it is today.

  • Lia Sandy, UT
    June 3, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    We just listened to the show at lunch, and I must say, had I believed the gist of Shurtleff's statements, Sandy would have had Blackhawk Choppers with masked agents rappelling down from them onto his roof. Stun grenades would have been lobbed through windows, and the big black "A-Team" van would have come around the corner on two wheels, screeched to a halt in his driveway, sideways, and the boys would have summersaulted out the side door onto his lawn and run up the walk and did flying kicks to bring down the door.
    I don't believe that happened.

  • jpjazz Sandy, UT
    June 3, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    If the account sited by Mr Shurtleff's daughter is in any way true, we should all be disgusted by such heavy handed behavior. There is no need for this, either charge the man or get off his porch!

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    June 3, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    So let my get this straight Mark. When it's someone else, and you are the AG, these tactics are acceptable law enforcement techniques. If you aren't the AG and the subject of a criminal investigation, then they are gestapo tactics. Mark, your hypocrisy is showing.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    June 3, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    Mark is an emotional guy, especially when it comes to his kids. I would frankly be surprised if they brought in the SWAT team to do a search in a case like this, however. I would hope that even those who are convinced Mark is guilty would not approve of agents pointing guns at kids for no reason. I strongly believe Mark is ill-informed.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    June 3, 2014 1:26 p.m.

    I wonder if karma has anything to do with this. Mr. Shurtleff really went after the FLDS for their marrying what modern society considers to be under age girls.

    While no one condones forcing a woman of any age to get married to a man she doesn't want to marry, but our law now which Mr. Shurtleff enthusiastically enforced would throw a 24 year old in prison for life for consentually marrying a 15 year old girl calling it rape. Let's not forget that throughout all of history this was not uncommon. The fact that we have changed our views doesn't change the morality of the situation. You can not hide behind the law while doing an immoral act and be immmune from justice of a higher court.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 3, 2014 1:26 p.m.

    Yea, he's the victim.

  • pleblian salt lake city, utah
    June 3, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    Google what Shurtleff is up to now. Priceless is the FG Xpress YouTUBE video where he endorses the safety of a product based upon his qualifications as an AG.

    Sad. (Oh and nice BYU hat the marketer is wearing...wolf).

  • FelisConcolor North Salt Lake, UT
    June 3, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    Getting searched by the cops isn't so cool when you're the target of the investigation, is it Mark?

    I checked the cupboard where I keep my empathy. It's empty.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    June 3, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    @lost in DC

    "But before we get too far, innocent until proven guilty."

    You mean like Bowe Bergdahl?

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2014 12:35 p.m.

    The article says Shurtleff is out of town (in D.C.), so he apparentally is getting the "tough guy" images from his kids.

    I learned a long time ago to take what my kids tell me with a grain of salt.

    Kids can be known to stretch the truth - just a little.

    That said, I can't imagine WHAT evidence is available today that WASN'T available a year ago. He should either be charged with.......something..... or not.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 3, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    If they acted inappropriately he should know the proper avenues to seek redress. If they didn't and he doesn't seek redress, we will know this is just a smokescreen.

    But before we get too far, innocent until proven guilty.

  • Lia Sandy, UT
    June 3, 2014 12:04 p.m.

    Wow. He sent his 'tough guy" Lawson out to make people's lives miserable.
    His B of A thing put lots of families on the street.
    Hard to feel sorry for a man who doesn't consider his family while involved in questionable activity. And those serving warrants may bust into a drug factory with guns blazin', but it's hard to believe him on this.
    Why should anyone believe him now? After all we've seen and heard from the investigating committee?