Utah Police Raid Rave - Testimonial by Witness David Miller

[ Utah Rave Bust Testimonial via utrave.org ]

To Whom It May Concern:

I don’t usually spam like this but I felt that this is an important issue and I feel the truth must get out. So please forward this message on. Feel free to add comments and feel free to write me back with your points of view. This subject needs to be discussed, brought out in the open and presented to our authority figures. We will not allow our civil liberties to be walked upon by members of law enforcement using a badge to forward their personal agendas.

This letter is not intended to support or downplay illegal activity. It is to bring out the truth of massive civil right infringements brought against young concert attendees, excessive police force used and the misappropriation of our tax dollars to fund military type police actions that were excessive and unnecessary.

Many of you know me but for those of you who don't my name is David Miller and I live in Utah. Aside from my regular job working as a Network Engineer for Juniper Networks I run a light and sound company that is frequently contracted by various Event organizers to provide lighting, audio and laser light shows for events.

I was at the "rave" that was raided over the weekend in Spanish Fork Utah on August 20th 2005 at appx 11:30 PM. I have done many club events, concerts, pageants and private parties. I have never seen anything like this. Helicopter, Men in full battle gear, Machine Guns, K9’s, Tazers all sent in to break up a peaceful event on the technicality that the event organizers had the wrong permit.

Here is what I witnessed standing next to the main stage. A helicopter approached the party with large a spotlight. It circled several times. I heard shouting with expletives to turn the music off or go to jail. I then see individuals in full battle gear on stage turning off music and I notice that much of the party is surrounded by men in full battle gear, machine guns, helmets, bulletproof vests, and what appeared to be gas masks. I was assuming this is law enforcement though there wasn’t any formal announcement that I heard other then they had guns and were wearing camouflage. (not usual police wear)

Chaos as the party goers reacts to army type personal with machine guns, night sticks and Dogs. I immediately began turning down lights and pieces of equipment that were associated with the performance of the show, everything is surreal I have never seen anything like this.

Within 45 Seconds of these army types appearing I see numerous kids on the ground being roughed up their hands zipped tied. I see guns being held threateningly at people who weren’t moving fast enough There is allot of shouting and swearing at the party goers. Some of my own crew members had weapons pointed at them. One girl who you will see on the video is on the ground by multiple officers being restrained. Her and her friend were both booked into jail for “Failing to obey an officer and Resisting arrest” she is just one example of kids getting trumped up charges.

Also immediately many partygoers began to disperse there is no resistance, this is a peaceful crowd. When partygoers asked to return and get their things (many were camping out) they were refused and at times forced to leave with brute force.

I then see next to the stage the individual who was video taping the raid get taken down; he had refused to give up his camera or to stop taping. I did not see him resist once but I did see him thrown down, handled roughly and subdued with excessive force. He was thrown against the stage by multiple of the army types that were handling the raid. I saw him the next day his face looked as if he had been struck a few times. His camera was dropped in the foray and the camera was picked up by another partygoer who managed to get the tape out. At this point I am standing on the stage shutting down equipment and working to protect my equipment. I have a huge fear that these army types are going to start taking and breaking things as they don’t seem to have any sort of respect.

I saw many people who were apart of the licensed security team being taken away in handcuffs. I then see an individual who is cuffed on the ground attacked by one of the dogs I don’t know how serious the attack was but apparently the dog smelled something on the individual and the police officer holding the dog failed to restrain the dog sufficiently, so the individual was at the very least mauled.

At no point did I see a single person attending the party resist arrest or attempt to fight back. This was a shock and awe attack against a peaceful crowd carried out by the Utah county police department to send a message they their county didn’t want people like this in their county.

The media reported that an Illegal Rave was shutdown and that drugs were confiscated and made it to appear that the police officers were heroes. These were all based upon police reports released to the news agencies, unfortunately the facts presented were extremely one sided and biased

Here are the facts:

The Event organizers did everything they could to make this a fully legal event. This was not to be a RAVE this was a Concert hoping to attract some 3000 fans. Professional security, Profession EMT’s, Profession Stage Crew, Profession Sound and Lighting Crews were hired.

The Event Organizers acquired a 2 million dollar insurance policy as required by law

They DID have the proper mass gathering permits. All the needed was the Health departments Mass Gathering permit which they had. The Sheriff’s department said they didn’t have ALL the required permits. Here is the actual regulation as it is written:


13-4-2-1. Required.
No person shall permit, maintain, promote, conduct, advertise, act as entrepreneur, undertake, organize, manage, or sell or give tickets to an actual or reasonably anticipated assembly of two hundred fifty (250) or more people which continues or can
reasonably be expected to continue for twelve (12) or more consecutive hours, whether on public or private property unless a license to hold the assembly has
first been issued by the County Commissioners. (Ord. No. 1971-4, Section 2, 7-7-71)

Here's the link in case anyone else is interested:
http://www.utahcountyonline.com/apps/WebLink/Dept/ATTY/Chap13.pdf

So, as long as this party was advertised to last less than 12 hours, there was no county commissioner’s approval needed.

The Sheriff’s department used the lack of Mass gathering permits as an excuse to raid the party.

Here is the link to the VIDEO that has been featured on several News Agencies and on the Internet.

iFilm Mirror
Castpost Quicktime Mirror w/ Info
[ The above links were replaced by AYM Network to prevent the original video servers from getting overloaded -ed. ]

Watch closely, the video is only 2 Minutes long look how quickly certain individuals were brought down. These were small 120 lb girls getting man handled by men in uniform the only fighting back you can see in the video is the girl holding her hands over her face where she had been struck I saw this girl the next morning when she returned to the location to pick up her things after spending a night in jail. Her crime was telling an officer who was manhandling her (don’t touch me!)

Here are personal accounts of what happened from those attending the concert:

http://utrave.org/showthread.php?t=20020

A few things I want to point out. More then likely the Tear gas described was actually fog machines that were being used as part of the show. This was a traumatizing event its important to have facts from both sides of the fence. Reports of people being Tazered needs to still be verified.

There were reports from the sheriff himself that a 17 year old girl had ODed on Ecstasy. This statement appeared all over the news as justification on why they came in how they did. It is a blatantly untrue statement for 2 reasons 1: had a girl actually over dosed on anything she would have been taken to the hospital not released to her parents the raid lasted only 30 minutes. You don’t treat someone overdosing by releasing them within 30 minutes, an over dose victim needs real medical attention by qualified doctors. 2: It is very difficult to Over Dose on Ecstasy if she was Over Dosing it would have been something else and once again why was she sent with her parents rather then receiving real medical attention.

An undercover agent purchased drugs at the concert. I believe this to be true. At the event it was a well known fact that undercover police officers were at the party. I knew about it and I was running the lasers and lights. The concert promoters did not want these elements in their party and welcomed the fact that Undercover Officers would be there to help control it and arrest those responsible for it. These individual are smart enough to get past security and trained officers are needed to intercept them. It was not expected they would use it as an excuse to raid the entire concert and rough up the attendees most of who had done nothing wrong.