Thursday, October 8, 2009

South Salt Lake Police Rebut Criticism Of Their Investigation Of The D.J. Bell Case, Shift Blame To Salt Lake County District Attorney

On October 7th, 2009, KSL Channel 5 reports that the South Salt Lake Police Department fired back against critics who claim the department mishandled the investigation of D.J. Bell. In the process, it appears that while they didn't necessarily throw the Salt Lake County District Attorney's office under the bus, they gave them a healthy shove in the direction of the bus stop.

Gary Keller, the department's Public Information Officer, was sent out to deal with the media. Keller stated that the case was thoroughly investigated, requiring many man-hours and much work. He said they interviewed well over 15 people, constantly collecting information, and even called Crime Scene out. Keller was unwilling to divulge further specifics, possibly because of the threat of a lawsuit by D.J. Bell, but more likely because a criminal case against Bell's attackers is still possible.

But Keller also said "he doesn't believe their best evidence was used in court". This, of course, is an obvious shot at the assigned prosecutor in the case. But he also took a shot at defense attorney Susanne Gustin, saying "Defense attorneys do what they're paid to do; they're paid to defend their client. It's very irritating that she'd make a comment like that. I mean, it's very unprofessional, and that's all I can say". On October 5th, Gustin defended the DA's office's handling of the case, saying the failure was in South Salt Lake Police for conducting a shoddy investigation. The full police statement can be read HERE.

Of course, just because a police department expends numerous man-hours on an investigation is no guarantee that the man-hours were productive. The whole statement by South Salt Lake Police appears to be lame.

1 comment:

Tammi Diaz said...

I support JD Bell's he needs to SUES the South Salt Lake Police Department. There is no P.R.I.D.E Community in South Salt Lake City. I and several resident do not feel safe. There is no sense of belonging.