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Utah’s surprising pushback against militarized policing

Radley Balko, investigative reporter with HuffPo, has for some time been tracking the creeping militarization of domestic local policing. As part of new reported series, Balko Thursday noted an unlikely locus of pushback against this trend in the conservative state of Utah.

Balko highlights a number of heavy-duty, military-style SWAT raids on smalltime criminal targets, such as a minor weed grower's house, that launched a movement for police reform. The reform efforts are led being by the family of Matthew David Stewart, a 37-year-old army vet who grew marijuana for personal use in his basement, whose house was riddled with bullets in a SWAT raid. Stewart himself was struck by bullets but survived -- he shot back at the police and fatally struck an officer. However, the Salt Lake City press comdemned the "beefed-up police tactics" for the incident's escalation. Balko reports:

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