Utah Protesters Assail Violent Drug Raids, Defend Officer-Killing Suspect


About 60 supporters of Matthew David Stewart met in Ogden, Utah yesterday and decried drug raids like the one that led to a shootout at his home, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. “We don't want our son to be the poster boy for the legalization of anything,” said Michael Stewart, the suspect's father. “Violence is the issue. We want to stop the violence.”

Stewart's family called on police to use less violence and end searches that require kicking in doors and drawing guns. “The current method of breaching homes has proven dangerous,” said Erna Stewart, the suspect's sister-in-law. She called on Ogden to withdraw from the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force, which attempted to serve the search warrant on Matthew Stewart. Officer Jared Francom, who was killed in the Jan. 4 raid, was an agent on the strike force. Prosecutor Dee Smith is seeking the death penalty against Stewart, 37.

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