A rave promoter has asked a U.S. District Court judge for an injunction against Utah County Sheriff James Tracy, who ordered a bust of a party near Salt Lake City in August, resulting in cries of undo force.
Promoter Brandon Fullmer organized the rave at Spanish Fork Canyon August 20th. About two and a half hours into the event, police and soldiers quickly broke up the party with dogs, guns and a helicopter. The activity was captured on video, which was widely distributed on the Internet.
According to the sheriff’s office, Fullmer and his company, Uprok Inc., did not have the proper permits. The promoter disputes the claim, adding that police and SWAT teams jumped out of the bushes pointing guns at ravers.
Uprok attorney Brian Barnard asked U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball to issue a temporary injunction against the sheriff’s department, which wants to enforce its mass-gathering ordinance, until Fullmer and his company can present a lawsuit.
Sheriff’s attorney Peter Stirba argued the bust was justified, resulting in two DUI arrests. The mass-gathering ordinance used by the promoters was for events lasting no more than 12 hours, and there was plenty of evidence in flyers and e-mails the rave was going to last beyond that mark , according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Barnard questioned the sheriffs’ “clairvoyant powers” that determined the event was going to last that long.
Stirba argued that the party violated a Health Department permit because the promoters didn’t have adequate sanitation, adequate paramedic assistance or free water, but Barnard said the sheriff did not have authority to enforce the alleged violations. Barnard said the sale of drugs should have resulted in five arrests rather than busting up a 1,000-capacity party.
“[The sheriff] scared the hell out of the kids and my clients,” the attorney said, according to the Tribune. “[Fullmer] deserves the right to put together another party without the fear that the sheriff is going to make a bad judgment call.”
Kimball was expected to make a decision at press time.