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Sen. Hatch Grills Atty. Gen. Holder Over Raids Involving Native American Artifacts

Sen. Orrin Hatch-official photo
Sen. Orrin Hatch-official photo

Federal law enforcement always feels it’s better to be over prepared for something and come with too many agents  rather than too few agents. But is there such a thing as over kill? Some politicians like Orrin Hatch apparently think so.

By Nicholas Riccardi
Los Angeles Times
DENVER — Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) on Wednesday grilled Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. on why more than 100 federal agents were needed to round up two dozen suspects accused of stealing Native American artifacts from public land.

The day after last week’s raids, one of the suspects, Dr. James Redd of Blanding in southern Utah, killed himself. Residents and officials in Blanding, where 16 suspects live, complained that authorities used unnecessary force to arrest nonviolent offenders.

“They came in in full combat gear, SWAT team gear, like they were going after, you know, the worst drug dealers in the world,” Hatch said, according to a transcript of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington.

Then, alluding to Redd, he continued, “I have no problem with going after people who violate the law. But they came in there like they were the worst common criminals on earth. And in the process, this man, it became overwhelming to him, I suppose.”

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