SANDY, UT — A prominent figure in Utah says that his children had guns pointed at them during a violent police raid to investigate an alleged white-collar crime. “If they’ll do it to me, they’ll do it to anybody,” said former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
“Law enforcement showed up in masks, 12 officers with bullet proof vests, assault rifles, burst through the door screaming and yelling at my kids,” Shurtleff said in an interview with Fox 13. He said that guns were pointed at his daughter and son, ages 16 and 20, in his suburban home while he was away.
“They burst [in on] my little girl – my 17-year-old – going to the bathroom, screaming at her to get out of there,” recalled Shurtleff. “When she steps out there are four men in body armor with weapons pointed at her chest.”
“These John Wayne-wannabe, freakin’ Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry tactics are absolutely unacceptable and unneeded,” said Shurtleff on KSL Radio.
“They in fact called the media to have them there to have them part of their circus, grandstanding,” Shurtleff said.
The raid occurred the evening of Monday, June 2nd, 2014. The FBI and Utah Department of Public Safety were investigating Shurtleff (as well as former A.G. John Swallow) on allegations of campaign finance fraud while in office. Shurtleff emphatically denies the allegations, saying that he is confident he will be cleared. “I’ve been offering to go in and talk to Sim Gill for a year,” he said.
Mr. Gill is the current District Attorney for Salt Lake County and head of the investigation against Shurtleff. He defended the tactics used, according to KSL: “There are certain things that you have to do when you go into an area that is unfamiliar to you… This is what every citizen out there is subjected to when it comes down.”
The Utah Department of Public Safety issued a statement about the raids. They said their agents “followed proper procedure” and “acted in accordance to policy and utilized the minimum force necessary to execute the warrants.”
“I don’t care what people think I may have done, and the truth will come out on that. But there was nothing that justifies what they did yesterday in my home,” said Shurtleff. “How do you give back innocence to a 17-year-old? She’s tiny. She’s no threat,” he continued. “She’ll never get that out of her mind.”