Man Facing the Death Penalty for Defending Himself from State Agents

If you were woken from your sleep early in the morning by the sound of people breaking into your home what would you do? I’m guessing that most readers of this site would arm themselves and prepare to defend their lives. It’s a logical response as home invaders are rarely interested in helping you. Unfortunately the police have resorted to the criminal activity of breaking and entering to enforce their employer’s erroneous drug prohibition, and this has put both officers and homeowners in danger. What makes this worse is that defending yourself from possible burglars is illegal if those burglars are police officers:

Four officers wounded in a Utah drug raid described a chaotic scene of gunfire, bodies and blood Thursday as they presented testimony against the Ogden man accused in the shootings.

Matthew David Stewart, 38, could face the death penalty if convicted of aggravated murder in the January shootout that killed one officer and wounded five others at his Ogden home.


Stewart insisted a day after the raid that he didn’t hear agents identify themselves and that he believed he was going to be robbed and killed when “a bunch of guys” broke his door open, an investigator for the prosecutor’s office testified Thursday. The hearings have focused heavily on how agents say they shouted out police commands.

Stewart was just waking up for a nightshift at Walmart and “felt like he was being invaded,” said Robert Carpenter, the investigator for the Weber County attorney’s office who recorded the interview at Stewart’s hospital bed.

Stewart said he pointed a 9 mm Beretta from his bedroom into a hallway but maintains police fired first.

Stewart’s testimony sounds all too familiar. No-knock raids, raids where police officers don’t identify themselves before storming in, have become more popular for drug enforcement operations. The police claim that no-knock raids are needed for officer safety as they don’t give potential drug deals time to dig in and defend themselves. What the police fail to acknowledge is the possibility of a homeowner defending themselves against unknown assailants, which puts officers in danger when they are the assailants.

The state protects its own. Even when police officers give homeowners every reason to believe they are being attacked by non-state thugs, and thus have grounds of legal self-defense, the state prosecutes the homeowners. Apparently homeowners are supposed to be telepathic and know that the people kicking down their doors in the middle of the night are police officers and not non-state thugs.