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Utah the only state that tracks SWAT actions, called national 'trail of blood'

Utah only state that tracks SWAT actions, called national 'trail of blood' (Photo: Police)

(KUTV) SWAT raids are leaving a so called "trail of blood" across the U.S., according to a recent story in the New York Times.

Utah is prominently mentioned because the state tracks deadly raids. It started with an incident that involved David Matthew Stewart.

Ogden police raided a home in 2010 where addict Todd Blair was killed in his home. He was carrying a golf club. The county attorney ruled the shooting justified. It is part of the New York Times' five-page story.

But mostly Utah gets attention for what happened in 2012 during an Ogden raid when military veteran Stewart shot six of the officers that broke down his door looking for marijuana. Stewart killed officer Jared Francom and wounded five others. Stewart later hanged himself in jail. After the raid, Utah became the only state required to report SWAT deployments and forcible entries.

in 2015 Utah had:

  • 458 deployments
  • 282 forcible entries
  • 72 percent of the deployments were over drugs
  • 9 people were wounded
  • none were killed

In 2015 another Utah law banned forcible entry for drug possession. Every state has SWAT raids and forcible entries, but only Utah keeps the data.

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