Huffpost Politics
Radley Balko Headshot

How A Botched Drug Raid In Utah Sparked An Unlikely Movement

Posted: Updated:

This is the story of how a botched drug raid on a lonely veteran in January 2012 sparked a fascinating movement for police reform -- in Utah of all places.

The push is being led by a political odd couple: a far-left progressive activist and a libertarian policy wonk with a background in Republican politics. So far, they seem to be having an impact. And at least two high-ranking officials in Utah, Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank and Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, want to see reforms as well.

The movement's first major proposal would limit home invasion-style police raids to situations where a violent crime is about to be committed, putting an end to raids that are carried out simply to serve drug warrants.

The Raid
A drug raid gone wrong sparks a call for change
The Ex-Cop
A former sheriff watches SWAT teams become "bullies with badges and guns"
The Pragmatist
A libertarian who's bringing conservatives on board
The Radical
A former Occupier finds a new cause
The Prosecutor
A D.A. who's willing to hold police accountable
The Police Chief
A top cop calls for a new approach

Suggest a correction