Ogden Police Messed Up, Nothing New
I’ve been loosely keeping track of the home invasion by the Ogden, Utah police which resulted in the death of one of their own officers, Jared Francom, as well as 5 more officers wounded. The victim of this home invasion was Matthew Stewart, a veteran of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was also injured in the home invasion.And now, the DA is seeking the death penalty for a man who was simply protecting his home.
My big problem with this whole issue is that the police aren’t taking any responsibility for their actions. The prosecutors and judges are ensuring that the police aren’t held responsible for their actions either by charging the victim with murder. They’re hiding behind the rule of law and procedure instead of admitting they messed up by purposely creating a “war zone” situation where none existed.
First of all, let’s take a step back. Why did the Ogden police invade this man’s home? There was suspicion that he was growing marijuana. The police got a search warrant. They went to conduct a search.
So, why did this turn into a war zone? How did a simple search warrant turn into a veteran of two wars firing on police officers?
It’s because the Ogden police, like many other police departments, decided to raid this man’s home. But, they didn’t want to raid his home while he was at work. They didn’t want to raid his home while he was out shopping for groceries. They wanted to raid his home while he was IN his home. They wanted to make sure this guy was at home.
Unfortunately for the overzealous wannabe-military Ogden police, Stewart was a real military person with post traumatic stress disorder. You don’t get PTSD from sitting behind a desk for a few years. You get it from being involved in some things, like war. You get it from being traumatized and stressed so hard that it becomes a mental disorder.
So, how did the Ogden police mess up?
They forgot that they’re a pansy civilian police department. In doing so, they made of the fatal mistake of deciding to bring the drug war to a man who’s not mentally out of a war zone yet and they got their behinds handed to them. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. As more of our troops come home, they’ve seen and done things that aren’t easily forgotten. Many of them will have PTSD; many of them will be medicating with marijuana; and many of them will be growing at home.
How could the Ogden police have carried out this search warrant in a smarter way?
- One, they could have tried to NOT bring a war zone to a man who’s not quite out of the war yet. You do that by conducting your search warrant while he’s NOT at home. That, alone, just might have avoided any and all confrontation.
- Two, they could have lied to him to get him to come back home if they needed him there. That’s been done before.
- Three, they could have maintained a perimeter (in case of escape), and just waited for him to answer the door and spoke to him.
- Four, they could have asked his parents for help.
But see, none of these things are on the menu for most police departments. Some alternative ideas to raiding a man’s home while he’s home might not be the smartest or the best. It’s definitely not as much fun as creating a faux war zone. But then, Jared Francom might be alive today.
Hindsight is 20/20. But, with as many botched raids as have been conducted by various police departments over the years, I have to seriously wonder why law enforcement doesn’t have any kind of foresight, whatsoever. How stupid are you to create a war zone for no apparent reason especially when there are other options available?
And because of typical police stupidity, one man is dead, others are injured, and now the state of Utah wants to murder an innocent man – a man who has fought for this nation and its people – for protecting himself against a home invasion. Or do they? Let’s see what jury of his peers has to say. If I was on that jury, I’d vote “not guilty”. If Utah wanted to bring suit against the Ogden police for reckless endangerment and negligent homicide, that’s an easy “guilty” for me.
It’s so sad that any of this has to happen over a marijuana plant. It’s clear that this ramping up of state sanctioned violence against peaceful citizens is a sign that this war on drugs is coming to a close. It’s that final ditch effort by law enforcement to maintain a strangle hold of control. What they don’t understand is that it’s acts like these that help people make the decision to legalize, outright or for medical purposes.
I wish Matthew Stewart the best of luck.