Images show police well armed for raid on polygamist retreat

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) -- New photos and video show police wearing body armor, carrying automatic weapons and backed by an armored personnel carrier while raiding a West Texas polygamist retreat.

Four still photos and a slice of video were released to The Associated Press by Rod Parker, spokesman for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The church owns the raided Yearning for Zion Ranch near San Angelo, Texas.

Parker says sect members responded to the law officers "by singing and praying."

Sect members took the photos and video during the first few days of this month's raids. Authorities were looking for a teenage girl who had reported being abused by her 50-year-old husband.

Tela Mange (TEE'-luh maynj), a state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman, says officers are trained to protect themselves. She says the armored car was precautionary and designed to remove someone from the property, not to force entry onto the ranch.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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