US Marijuana Party

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Promoter sues over canyon rave raid

By Michael N. Westley
The Salt Lake Tribune

The promoters of a rave held in Spanish Fork Canyon that was busted by Utah County sheriff's deputies filed a civil lawsuit Friday, claiming the sheriff misinterpreted the law and used unnecessary force to break up the party.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, seeks a review of Utah County's mass-gathering ordinance and a court order prohibiting the sheriff from terminating an event based upon his estimation of how long the event will operate.

Named in the suit are Sheriff James Tracy, Lt. Grant Ferre, County Attorney Kay Bryson, Commissioners Jerry Grover, Steve White and Larry Ellertson and Utah County.

Police and promoters say that more than 1,000 people were in attendance when about 90 officers from multiple agencies stormed the party in full riot gear around 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 20. With the aid of a helicopter, dogs and machine guns, police cited 60 people on a variety of charges, including resisting arrest, illegal alcohol consumption and possession of a controlled substance.

Detention records show that about 30 of those cited were booked into the Utah County Jail early on Aug. 21. Many of those arrested say they were injured by police as they were thrown to the ground and handcuffed.


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