Video Shows Utah Man Being Killed in Drug Raid

Utah SWAT team bringing death in
A police video of a September drug raid in Utah provides graphic evidence of the sometimes dire consequences of SWAT-style drug law enforcement. In the video released by the Salt Lake Tribune, a member of the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force repeatedly shoots and kills resident Todd Blair as Blair steps into a hallway holding a golf club like a baseball bat.

According to a Tribune article in December, Blair, while a methamphetamine user and familiar to police, was not the target of the raid and was not supposed to be in the house. In fact, police had earlier seen a man they thought was Blair leaving the house and pulled him over so he wouldn't be present during the raid. But the man was not Blair and was released, at which point police began to prepare a "dynamic entry" or no-knock raid.

Police had received a warrant for a no-knock warrant after claiming in their affidavit that the house had "lookouts" who would warn of their arrival and that their suspect -- not Blair -- might attempt to destroy the evidence. The affidavit did not mention that their suspect had already moved out of the house.

Because they had expected to raid an empty residence, the police SWAT team had not prepared a "dynamic entry" plan. Instead of falling back and creating one in the standard procedure, they retreated to a nearby retirement home and improvised one. They had also forgotten to bring along a copy of their search warrant -- not a legal failing in a no-knock raid, but another indication of a drug squad fraying at the edges.

The video show police yelling, "Police! Search warrant!" and breaking down the door in a matter of seconds. Ogden police Sgt. Troy Burnett was the first officer through the door when Blair, shirtless, stepped into a hallway brandishing the golf club. He was eight to ten feet away and not advancing when Burnett, without uttering a warning, shoots him three times in the head and chest. As he collapses, Burnett yells "Get on the ground!"

Utah authorities determined the shooting was justified.



Roy, UT
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Brutal, just brutal

It appears that the gentleman has a sable by both hands.  I had always known that between a sable and a pistol.  The pistol is way above dominance. In any situation where whether it is the police or a home invasion, the first reaction of a residence is to protect his home.  Such shooting without the person being 

requested to put down the gun is total brutality

I know of a case in Miami, when a crazed patient from a psychiatric hospital that was sent to the United States during the Mariel Boatlift was shot to death by the police when the man was holding a machete.  Given that the policeman had dominance with a pistol at a great distance from the man, the shooting was declared unnecessary. This looks very similar to that situation. Police are taking abuse of authority more and more when they are associated with people that are related to drugs. Imagine that the police would have made an error and raided the wrong house.  A  totally innocent person would have been shoot to death unnecessarily.

Makes Me scared And Are We

Makes Me scared And Are We FREE don't think so :(_

It might as well have been the wrong house

It was the wrong person.The house was supposed to be empty.This is exactly the kind of cowboy justice that these SWAT teams bring with them every time they do a SWAT style raid.They are pumped up with adrenalin and ready to kill at the first sign of aggression without mercy.They shot the man in the head.That says it all.If this was justified then no one is safe in Utah.Using drugs is obviously a capital offence to be dispensed without trial.A golf club against an armored armed police officer.Ya,that justifies it alright.

I guess they think it's a video game

There isn't any hesitation at all- he just points, shoots, and keeps going. They actually look like they are playing a game of paintball or some other nonlethal war game. Sickening!!!

Disgusting

Utterly horrifying.  He was just freaked out and trying to protect himself from someone trying to kick down his door.  And with a GOLF CLUB.   The most innocuous weapon in possible.  Just disgusting. 

Shooting all in how you look at it

I wonder what that officer would think if it were his wife or son shot by a fellow officer serving a warrant?

What constitutes an unjustified shooting ?

       Can anyone react fast enough to avoid being shot by testosterone driven  aggression such as this ?  Gee, think there were enough cops there ? Nobody even gives the guy a second look as they pass by looking for someone else to ' take down'.The problem is that every small town in the country is told and 'sold' on the idea of the necessity of  their own  SWAT style  Drug Enforcement Unit. Lots of money to be made ; by the suppliers of SWAT equipment, by confiscation of seized property, by more cops on the beat and the overtime they can rack up. Then the local gov't  budget gets inflated from all these "enforcement costs" and the expense is passed on to the TAXPAYERS.  When will people get wise.

P.S. I forgot another link in the chain---The Prison Industrial Complex---the private for-profit corrections corporations --got to keep them fed too.  SLOGAN  --  Build Prisons not Schools !!

Hiddious and outrage

One hundredth of a second of thought is all it took to steal that man's life and his families life too. Training has to change and so does these assertive aggressive tactics used on all reasons to enter a home may it be drugs, or domestic, or disturbance. Why didn't they use a concussion device or give the people some time to give themselves up and letting them know they are surrounded. But going in quickly without notice also puts the enforcement team in jeopordy. I am outraged! It's hiddious this keeps going on! WE NEED REFORM! 

 

Too far!

This is as ignorant and brutal as it gets. Justified my ass. Are people blind? This man was innocent! dirty stinking lousy cops! Is it any wonder people are afraid of the police. There was no need to shoot this man. But hey who am i to critique when my own fine police officers of Fort Smith AR shot and killed a guy who had a BB gun. This guy was mentally disabled also. That was justified also.

MURDER IN UTAH

I had to see the video a number of times. It was difficult for my mind to accept and digest. I made myself sick when watching  the video. This could happen to absolutely anyone. I am posting it on my web site http://www.greenribbonworld.com. As Ganja Granny I keep preaching peaceful civility, hoping to remove the stigma attached to cannabis use. I keep saying we are not at war... After seeing this brutal murder carried out with what appears to be a bunch of untrained  gung ho cops... I am thinking We are at war!I also think that everyone in law enforcement should be evaluated psychologically before being accepted and given frequent check ups there after for as long as they are employed. The prohibition laws and the way they are enforced have made serious criminals out of many people on both sides of the law. How can something so obviously wrong be considered justified? 

diddly SWAT

I con't think my comment is necessary because the reality has been enacted so many times the agenda that drives it is crystal clear.  The "war on drugs" is a well-funded and tragic experiment in judicial corruption, a laboratory designed to explore the limits of what a government can get away iwth not only without consequences but with the approal of the very citizens who are directly and indirectly the victims of modern-day fascism.  The racist component is very clear but the hysteria is so virulent that color often is not a requirement for the type of frontier justice those armed-to-the-teeth gestapo bastards glory in.  Defining who is "them" and who is "us" is a totalitarian political tool that has served repressive governments for generations both here and abroad and the present economic climate is one of the main nutrients in this horrific Petri dish

diddly SWAT

I con't think my comment is necessary because the reality has been enacted so many times the agenda that drives it is crystal clear.  The "war on drugs" is a well-funded and tragic experiment in judicial corruption, a laboratory designed to explore the limits of what a government can get away iwth not only without consequences but with the approal of the very citizens who are directly and indirectly the victims of modern-day fascism.  The racist component is very clear but the hysteria is so virulent that color often is not a requirement for the type of frontier justice those armed-to-the-teeth gestapo bastards glory in.  Defining who is "them" and who is "us" is a totalitarian political tool that has served repressive governments for generations both here and abroad and the present economic climate is one of the main nutrients in this horrific Petri dish

A golf club could kill....

i'm not justifying this shooting, however if you think about it,, a golf club to the head of ANYONE will result in severe head trauma if not death.

the cop should have yelled for him to drop the golf club, and allow that to happen, before just shooting in such a hurry.

Helmets

That's what the helmets are for, I would imagine.

who will protect us from the law?

I fear the law more nowadays than i do any criminal.. When i watched this video , i really couldn't believe what i was watching...besically this cop murdered a man after breaking into his home.  I don't care about the semantics , or the search warrant , yadda yadda...this cop murdered a man who simply reacted in the matter any person would when a group of cops breaks down your door. This cop did not hesitate for a second before shooting him. The cops might be the instrument of the law but they are not the judge and jury...that cop did not have a right to carry out a death sentence on this man. What i found even more unbelievable than the video itself is the fact that the Utah authorities deemed it to be a justifiable shooting. Are you serious??? What kind of monkies do they have making decisions out there ....All i can say is it was murder , straight up and down and the authorities are just covering for the actions of the police...which make them just as bad if not worse. I hope the soulless cop that shot this poor man suffers the rest of his life for it. It is frightening to think that guy is still running around with a badge and a gun.

As to the question "Who will

As to the question "Who will protect us from the law?", the answer is obvious and it has been for years - no one.  This cop murdered an innocent (at that point) civilian.  You found it surprising that the Utah authorities deemed it to be a justifiable shooting?  Wake up.  This type of activity is happening on a daily basis in the 'New and Improved' Amerika.  I used to love my country and I still do love the idea of a Constitutional Republic with a Bill of Rights and a place where people have rights and liberties and the right to confront their accuser in a court of law if they're accused of breaking a law.  This country no longer qualifies.  We are now living in a government-controlled Socialist state where the so-called law enforcement authorities have the right to kill anyone that they choose to kill at any time.  If this was supposed to be an empty house, how does an empty house have "look-outs" that justify a military-style raid with military-style weapons and deadly force?  As you and anyone else with a sense of reality, I, too fear the police much more than I fear criminals in this country.  These deadly SWAT military-style raids are occurring over 100 times per day, every day, in "The United States of America".  These killings prove that a lie has been and is being perpetrated on the public in this country.  NO police officer has ever, to my knowledge, been prosecuted for murdering a person who happened to be in a house when one of these deadly military-style raids results took place.  The cops usually break every window in the house, kill the family pets, assault every person that they encounter, and in general, terrorize the occupants of whatever house they are destroying, and they do destroy every house that they raid in this fashion.  Ask the mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland.  His name is Cheye Calvo, and the county Sheriff raided his house based on the mistaken notion that there was marijuana present.  The Sheriff has stated that his officers did nothing wrong, even though they killed Mr. Calvo's two harmless Labrador Retrievers, and there was no marijuana present nor were there any drug dealers present.  The Sheriff still, to this day, refuses to admit that his officers did anything wrong.  This means that, in his twisted mind, anyone that might possess any amount of marijuana is a deadly threat to his officers.  This also means that, in his twisted mind, ANYTHING, up to and including DEADLY FORCE, is necessary if the Sheriff THINKS that a particular dwelling MIGHT have any amount of marijuana or any amount of any other illegal drug present.  No limits are assumed on the use of deadly force by these crazed nazi "public servants" come to your door in military gear, killing the family pets.  If I was Cheye Calvo, I would sue the Sheriff and any and all officers involved in this complete misuse of police powers against innocent civilians.  These cops "suit up" in their military gear and prepare to kill anyone and anything that MIGHT represent a threat to them, and they get a huge thrill from the entire exercise.  They KNOW that they can kill with impunity.  These cowboy cops are a much greater threat to innocent American civilians than any drug dealers could ever be, since these SWAT-style raids are occurring over 100 times a day, every day, seven days a week, in our country (our Police State).

Who will protect us from the so called protectors

After seeing the video and being subjected to such nonsense before I have a little experience with this ... The problem is the system when it comes to this all or nothing mentality > The cops think they can act with impunity and don't have to follow the laws .....How could anyone feel safe with these kind of people running around with automatic weapons and all hyped up on adrenalin. This is like having the cookie monster guarding the cookie jar hmmmmm it wont work!!!!!! until we as a people stand up for the truth and our fellow Americans that are suffering from the disease of addiction and demand a stop to this ridiculous war on us ( no its not about the drugs its about lies deceit and ill founded prejudices) will it ever end most countries that have decriminalized drug use and pushed treatment have seen their drug problem drastically drop and have saved millions of dollars in the process its time we wake up and no longer allow the murders the looting and the harassment of our own people by a way out of control establishment STOP THE MADNESS STOP THE WAR help the sick to heal dont just kill them or lock them up and make a bads situation worse WAKE UP AMERICA call your congressman call your senator and write the president and tell them enough is enough and absolutely

these cops should be tried for capital homicide be the change let it start with in each of us for a better brighter tomorrow do we want our kids or grand children to live in fear and do we want to be part of that fear I for one say hell no !!!!!!

Sorry - but I disagree

They were yelling POLICE - SEARCH WARRANT - LOUD.  That man KNEW damn well that was the police.  Standing with something that very easily can be mistaken for a weapon like a shotgun is D U M B.  The idiot either WANTED to die or was just plain STUPID.  I cannot blame police for that.  They don't have the time to stand around trying to figure out if the man has a golf club or a much more dangerous weapon.  They have to worry about their own lives too.

Sorry - I many times fall on the non-law enforcement side on things like this, but not on this one guys.

TOTALLY EVIL!!!

 

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You are just as evil as the cops and just as stupid. ANYONE can scream out cops and rob someone or worse by taking them off guard like this. And just cause they were yelling outside does not mean he actually heard what they were yelling from inside. And you think its fine for us all to live in a totalitarian police state where cops have total power. You're support of prohibition and these consequences makes you complicit in mass murder and crimes against humanity.

To support prohibition you have to be ignorant, stupid, brainwashed insane or corrupt.

disagree

Mr. disagree, you need to think about one thing, even if they were yelling before they kicked in the door, the man may

have been a somewhat heavy sleeper, so may not have heard much of anything, until the door was kicked in, and even then, when a person first wakes up, they are not responsible for their actions for the first minute or two, especially if they are abruptly awaken, I learned this in the military, so I can tell you from what I saw, was a man who was hearing yelling but not quite understanding everything yet, because he was still trying to wake up, so of course he couldn't respond quick enough to there demands, and what about a possible language barrier in there somewhere, no they really did not give the man enough time to react to there demands, and if the place was suppose to be empty why were they going in so gung ho.

The fact that maybe only one or two seemed a little concerned or interested in the man that they just shot, concerns me.

no I think they screwed up, period.

Say what?

With all five of them shouting at once, it sounded to me like like they said: "ALEEEE SAWWUUUUHHALEEE SAWUHHHH". Yes, hindsight is crystal clear. The point of this whole website is that these situations, which are almost as dangerous for law enforcement officers as they are for the people living inside, are totally unnecessary and simply should not occur. If you can not blame police, then perhaps you can blame policy-makers for putting police and civilians alike in these situations for no good reason.

RE: Sorry- but I disagree

Keep in mind, that you are innocent til proven guilty. This person, regardless of past issues with the law, is still a citizen with all rights afforded to them as a citizen.

 

With that said, I am tired of ordinary citizens of this great country being held to higher standard than our "well trained law enforcement" people. If you were to address a similar assault on your person with deadly force through the use of a firearm, you will be charged-PERIOD! End of story. I support law enforcement, but this stuff can't and should never happen. There is a ZERO tolerance by law enforcement, when it come to a citizen protecting themselves  through the of a firearm, but an almost "IN YOUR FACE" policy of ignoring or burying stuff like this, when it happens to someone in law enforcement. You can't just kick in the door of anyones home, waking them up out of a sound sleep and expect them to automatically think that its the police, and then expect them assume the position.

That officer should have never been assigned to SWAT. Obviously the standards are pretty low in that department. No one will ever convince otherwise of this. I have been a DOORKICKER and I can tell you that through training, you ONLY look at the persons hands, and then assess the threat. Using appropriate force the combat threat. I for one will hold law enforcement to a higher standard. You should too.

Do a quick search and see how many times search warrants have been issued to wrong addresses, or the police screwed up and it resulted in the death of a home owner. A father, a husband woken up in the middle of the night from a sound sleep, scared and attempting to protect his family, only to be shot to death. It could be you next. It makes me sick to think that people will excuse this. One lunatic in AZ  goes off, and the entire congress wants to disarm the country, but no one is drawing up legislation when a 7 year old child is shot in one of these search warrants by police. Wake up people. There is an imbalance of accountability here that should not be ignored.


 

Looks like the officer made a

Looks like the officer made a bad decision that cost a man his life.

"Because they had expected to raid an empty residence, the police SWAT team had not prepared a "dynamic entry" plan."

Maybe the dept. should start treating every raid seriously and take the right measures instead of putting their officers and civilians in a positions like that.

 

I can't blame the police

They saw a man with a weapon and made a split second decision to stop him. Perhaps they could have aimed at his legs or arms instead of his head but I'm no officer so I do not know how they're trained.

So in other words, if ANYONE

So in other words, if ANYONE breaks in your home its better to shoot first and ask questions later as the police are more likely to kill you than a criminal. Next person through my door without a key dies, cop or not.

ANOTHER SWAT MURDER

JUST ANOTHER STORY OF AN AMERICAN BEING MURDERED BY A PARA MILITARY STORM TROOPERS. THE MAN WAS HOLDING A GOLF CLUB AND DIDN'T EVEN COME AT THEM. I AM SURE THAT THERE WAS NO WAY TO DEFEND FROM A GOLF CLUB AND SO THEY MURDERED HIM. NOTHING NEW. JUST LAST WEEK A MARINE WAS MURDERED BY PIMA COUNTY SWAT IN AZ. THEY SHOT HIM 60 TIMES AFTER ONE OF THE ASS HOLE SWAT GUYS FELL OVER HIS OWN FEET AND THEY ASSUMED HE HAD BEEN SHOT.  BA  FEVF

ANOTHER SWAT MURDER

JUST ANOTHER STORY OF AN AMERICAN BEING MURDERED BY A PARA MILITARY STORM TROOPERS. THE MAN WAS HOLDING A GOLF CLUB AND DIDN'T EVEN COME AT THEM. I AM SURE THAT THERE WAS NO WAY TO DEFEND FROM A GOLF CLUB AND SO THEY MURDERED HIM. THE OFFICER TELLS HIM TO GET ON THE GROUND AFTER KILLING HIM.  NOTHING NEW. JUST LAST WEEK A MARINE WAS MURDERED BY PIMA COUNTY SWAT IN AZ. THEY SHOT HIM 60 TIMES AFTER ONE OF THE ASS HOLE SWAT GUYS FELL OVER HIS OWN FEET AND THEY ASSUMED HE HAD BEEN SHOT. 

DRUG RAID GONE WRONG

I would have shot and I believe the majority of these Monday morning Qbacks would have too.The cop had probably less than one second to decide whether or not to fire.The fella looked like he was holding a pistol in a two handed stance. When I slowed it down and played it the guy looked like he was holding a sword. They went in on a Meth raid. These people are maniacs. There are hundreds of them in my county.... They are in their 20s and 30s and look like 60 yr. old zombees with aids. They are violent too. I worked with one a few years back that bragged about stabbing his stepson to death. He bragged every day for a month until he burned himself ,his girl friend,and her 2 kids to death in a trailer fire. He was not cooking it at the time but his chemicals caught fire.As hard as you whine it does not make these people saints...BTW I am not a LE officer either...If this looser had not have been able to post bail on his stepsons murder...there might be a woman  and her two 2 year olds alive right now.  She borrowed money from her mom and dad to get him out. Her mom had to sneak her dads guns out and pawn them because he just sits around and talks about killing himself. now.

  You could pick a lot better cause to whine about the police about than these kind of people. 

 

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