An independent inquiry should be conducted on what happened during the raid Ogden police conducted on Dec. 20 at the home of Eric and Melanie Hill. Ogden Police Chief Mike Ashment has apologized for the raid, which was served on the wrong house. Officers were looking for a military man charged with desertion. Instead, they descended on the Hill's home, which also housed their two young daughters.
Appropriately, Ashment is conducting an internal investigation of the incident. However, more is needed because what occurred at the home during the botched raid is disputed. The Hills claim that the police officers were heavily armed, with two shotguns and three assault rifles. Ashment disputes that, saying that a preliminary reports indicates that only one officer -- there were five at the raid -- had anything resembling a rifle.
Also, the Hills claim that the officers were not professional after realizing they were at the wrong house, offering no apologies and telling the couple that they would have killed anyone who had brandished a gun. Again, Ashment denies this, saying that the officers, after realizing their error, apologized and offered handshakes.
It's important to know how the raid was conducted, and what mistakes were made as well as what can be done in the future to avoid a similar foul up.
And, if the allegations of the Hills are correct, it takes the mistake to an even more disturbing level. However, the officers are also due the benefit of the doubt.
A thorough investigation, perhaps conducted by Davis County law enforcement, would provide an investigation free of bias and hopefully offer answers.
In order for the investigation, and its conclusions, to have merit, it is necessary for both parties, police and the family, to cooperate. The Hill family must work with an independent investigation. They are not interested in cooperating with Ogden police. That may be understandable given the trauma of the botched raid, but that wariness need not extend to an independent investigation.