SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Fraternal Order of Police has filed a complaint alleging media appearances by Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill have tainted a potential jury pool in the manslaughter case against a former West Valley police detective.
The FOP and an attorney for former detective Shaun Cowley argue that Gill's statements to the media were meant to "tarnish the reputation of Shaun Cowley and make it impossible for him to have a fair trial in Salt Lake County," according to the complaint dated July 7 and addressed to the Utah Bar Association.
The complaint specifically cites Gill's dismissal of 19 West Valley investigations with credibility concerns, an Aug. 8, 2013, announcement that Cowley and West Valley police detective Kevin Salmon were not justified when they fired at Willard, and the announcement that criminal charges had been filed against Cowley.
Lindsay Jarvis, Cowley's attorney, joined the complaint Thursday and issued an additional complaint based on the same accusations, alleging that Gill has led a "public hate campaign" against the detective.
The complaint accuses Gill of violating rules of extrajudicial speech, while Jarvis' letter cites Gill's current bid for re-election. Gill ousted incumbent Lohra Miller to take the position in 2011.
Gill and the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office did not issue a response to the complaint Thursday because they had not been contacted about the complaint or have a chance to review it, deputy district attorney Blake Nakamura said.
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