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The Utah State Records Committee, which hears public record disputes, sided with UHP, in part because Alton was not disciplined. Lawrence appealed that ruling by filing a lawsuit in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City.
On Aug. 21, Judge L.A. Dever ordered UHP to give Lawrence the records.
"There is no merit to DPS’s argument that the interests favoring secrecy are not substantially outweighed by the public policies and interest favoring public disclosure," Dever wrote.
Lawrence said he is pleased Utah’s record laws worked as intended.
"Bottom line is, most people don’t challenge a police officer, and that’s what he was counting on," Lawrence said of his encounter with Alton.
In his recorded interview with UHP investigators, Alton said if he knew then what he knows now about how some civilians are allowed onto military bases, Lawrence’s story would have made sense. But Alton also defended himself.
"Look what I found," Alton told investigators. "Would I need more [probable cause]? Yeah, for future. [sic] But I think the indicators [of drug possession] I found proved itself."
UHP has removed the autofill function from the electronic search warrant program.
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