Dance party broken up by police in Utah, USA

SWAT teams shut down the music.

Author: datamining by freeminder
Date: Aug 23, 2005
Views: 3152

August 22, 2005

About 90 law enforcement officers from multiple agencies broke up what
they said was a rave party on public and private property in the
Diamond Fork area of Spanish Fork canyon, an hour outside of Salt Lake
City, Utah, at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday (5:30 Sunday UTC).

According to the county, the Sheriff\'s Office had been investigating
similar parties since the beginning of the season. In a press release
from the Sheriff\'s Office in Utah County, the department claims that
previous allegations of sexual abuse at other raves, as well as
various firearm and theft violations, were reason for the
investigation. The release continues to state that the proper permit
was not obtained before the party started.

Armed with assault rifles and tear gas, the police used dogs to sweep
the crowd for narcotics. At least one helicopter was used in the
operation. The scale of the police response was apparently due to the
ineffectiveness of a smaller force used in the previous \"Sequence
Five\" rave. Prior to dispersing the partiers, several police
informants had reportedly infiltrated the rave and observed widespread
illegal activities.

Police clear out the event and question attendees.

The promoter says the party took place on private property, named
Child\'s Ranch, with express permission from the owner. The property
owner has apparently had at least one previous run-in with police over
a similar event. Utah County requires a permit, bond and county
commission approval for all gatherings with more than 250 people
present. According to a DJ at the event, \"They presold 700 tickets and
they expected up to 3,000 people total.\" He added that by the time
police arrived \"the crowd was about 1500 people thick\".

The police have publicly stated that only a permit from the health
department was obtained, and that a Utah mass gathering permit was
needed. The promoters deny this allegation. They have stated that they
had the required permit, and have given a permit number (# 2005-11).
Officials also claim that the party had spilled over onto public land.
Police reported in local press that more than 60 arrests were made for
weapons offenses, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
underage drinking, drug possession and distribution, resisting arrest,
assault on a police officer, and disorderly conduct. Officers claim to
have found cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, mushrooms, alcohol, and large
amounts of drug paraphernalia. Some of the drugs may include those
confiscated from partiers by security guards.

Police arrest partygoers.

Amateur video from the scene shows a number of SWAT police (estimates
are at 90) screaming orders at the DJs to \"Shut it down now!\" and
yelling at others to \"get out now, or I\'ll kick your ass in jail.\"
Armed police are also seen tackling a number of rave-goers, and it is
unclear from the video footage whether these attendees attempted to
attack the police. Based on the low resolution, automatic lighting
adjustment, and low audio quality, the video appears to have been
taken with an amateur device.

A first hand account from a DJ booked to play at the party stated that
while police were arresting a man accused of narcotic possession, the
suspect was beaten to the ground and continually \"kicked in the ribs\"
by four armed \"soldiers\" dressed in camouflage. According to the
account, nobody resisted the policemen but tear gas was still used as
partiers were already peacefully dispersing. The DJ also states that
police were attempting to confiscate video equipment, but an amateur
video has still surfaced on the internet: (see sources below).

Police arresting more attendees.

Several partygoers felt they should have the right to attend a rave
where drugs are being used, so long as they don\'t personally use them.
\"While it may be true that some individuals choose to take drugs at
said events like this, myself as well as many others choose to go for
the music. Just like anything, you have bad apples, but you shouldn\'t
cut down the tree,\" said one attendee. \"Raves are not the only musical
gatherings where drugs are used and distributed,\" said another.

Other partygoers felt that the use of force in the shutdown was
excessive - numerous eyewitness accounts by concertgoers describe
people being beaten, tasered, or attacked with dogs. One account from
an attendee, identified as \"Colby\", states:

A SWAT team officer orders the video-taker to shut off their camera.

\"I saw at least two people being beaten on the ground while barking,
snarling dogs are held just a few feet from them. Weapons were being
pointed at unarmed, peaceful civilians. A friend of mine was forced at
gunpoint to put his hands on his head and turn around, because he
asked if he could get his things from the tent.\"

An injury allegedly sustained during the raid.

Utah County sheriff\'s Sergeant Darren Gilbert said a 17-year-old girl
was found overdosed on ecstasy, and was treated and released to her
parents. Multiple lawsuits are being threatened against the city.
According to an advertisement for the event, an attorney was present
at the party. The local sheriff is scheduled to appear on Utah TV
following a number of complaints being sent to TV stations and the

A Collection of eyewitness accounts:

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