A Peace Officer's Remorse
Liberty Minute October 8 2014
In 1975, as the elected sheriff of Utah?s Davis County, William Lawrence helped organize one of the state?s first SWAT teams. On September 22, 2008, his son-in-law, Brian Wood, was killed by that SWAT team outside his home following a 12-hour standoff.
After suffering a breakdown of some kind, Wood called 911 to report (falsely) that he had beaten and raped his wife. SWAT operators treated him to a barrage of rubber bullets, pepper-spray rounds, tear gas, and flash-bang grenades. While Wood was prone and helpless, he was incapacitated by multiple Taser blasts before being fatally shot at point-blank range.
One witness described the onslaught as ?horrible ? just like someone tormenting an animal in a cage.?
Lawrence, who served on the Bountiful Police Department and in the US Marines before being elected sheriff, was the closing speaker at a rally held October 4 outside the Scott Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City to protest the militarization of police. As a peace officer, recalled Lawrence, he had been trained to be a defender of persons and property and a servant to the public. Today, he lamented, law enforcers consider themselves to be a caste apart from, and superior to, the population they supposedly serve.
Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.