Comments about ‘Ex-West Valley police detective charged with manslaughter’

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'Reckless' officer was not in danger when he shot woman in head, D.A. says

Published: Thursday, June 19 2014 10:55 a.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, June 20 2014 7:07 a.m. MDT

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Aggie238
Logan, UT

'Bout time. The law ought to apply just as rigorously, if not more so, to those who are charged with enforcing it and to those who legislate it.

SharpHooks
Sandy, UT

What took so long?

one old man
Ogden, UT

How about Sim Gill for Attorney General?

But it would never happen. Sixty percent of our legislators would be quaking in their boots.

sid 6.7
Holladay, UT

I don't know about this one.

This story has seemed kind of like a Witch Hunt from the very beginning to me. Logic would tell you that if you try to run from an officer especially hitting him in the process you're going to get shot and possibly killed. Far too many people run from the Police. When they run they become a hazard to everybody else. How many times have we seen high speed chases where the perpetrator runs into some innocent victim substantially hurting them or killing them? Way too often.

I am sorry this young lady lost her life and my heart goes out to here family and friends but to me it seems she put herself in the situation.

I guess in the end if you don't want to get shot or killed do break the law, if you do, don't try to run from the Police.

Either way, with the charges filed today it is now clear two families lives have been ruined by this situation.

Very Sad on many levels.

Something to think about
Ogden, UT

While I don't know everything about this case, I've always felt there was 'something suspicious' about it.

Glad to see there will be a more formal accounting of the event. Hopefully we'll find some form of the truth in the matter.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: " The law ought to apply just as rigorously, if not more so, to those who are charged with enforcing it . . . ."

It does. Always has.

Regardless of the way this case turns out, it's sad to see so little support for law enforcement people, who we pay so grudgingly and so poorly to put their lives on the line to protect us.

There's no real doubt that the officers' only concern was with apprehending a criminal. There was no personal animus against Ms. Willard, who they'd never met.

And, there's no real doubt that the "victim" here was involved in an illegal drug deal, that she refused to surrender or follow valid law-enforcement orders, or that she placed the officers' lives in genuine jeopardy. In her selfish panic, she was clearly unconcerned for the lives or safety of others, and she was clearly armed with a deadly weapon [her car].

Had she survived a few moments longer, the great weight of the evidence suggests she would likely have injured the officers or other innocents even more seriously than she did.

Where should our sympathies lie?

BYU Fan in DC
Washington, DC

I will be very disappointed in the legal system if these police officers receive any conviction other than innocent. This girl was clearly "high" and not thinking straight, it cost her life, but it was her decision to try to flee.

ute alumni
SLC, UT

Why would anyone want to be in law enforcement, especially with the likes of gill that loves the limelight

Aggie238
Logan, UT

@sid and fiscal:

"Logic would tell you that if you try to run from an officer especially hitting him in the process you're going to get shot and possibly killed. Far too many people run from the Police. When they run they become a hazard to everybody else."

"Had she survived a few moments longer, the great weight of the evidence suggests she would likely have injured the officers or other innocents even more seriously than she did."

Actually, running should NOT get you killed by a police officer. He or she is not the judge, jury, and executioner. Also, right in the story it says that the investigation showed that neither Cowley nor anyone else was ever in any danger of injury or death.

One last point. If two plain clothes guys came up to your car door, flashed a gun and a badge, and told you to get out of your car, would you do it? I definitely think twice, maybe three times, particularly if I was a young female.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

The officer could have stepped out of the way instead of executing the person he was investigating.

utahby6
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I lived in West Valley. Too many iffy events involving police. Glad that after a "unanimous" decision including WVC detectives there will be some justice. It can only help.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

@ute alumni
So sim gill is just seeking the "lime light" because he followed the unanimous decision of the ivestigative team that consisted of " two homicide detectives from the Salt Lake Police Department, two homicide detectives from the West Valley Police Department, a detective from the Unified Police Department, and three prosecutors from the district attorney's office"?

AT
Elk River, MN

manslaughter? Why not 2nd-degree murder?

EnglishAlan
Rugeley, Staffs

Yet again the "armchair brigade" comment on the "wrongdoings" involved. It is so easy to sit in one's armchair, watching on the TV or reading in the newspaper, having time to think about the situation. Here we have two police officers in a dangerous situation, and seeing a car heading at them. They know that there are drug deals going on, and so ANYONE can be at the wheel of that car. They cannot look at the situation retrospectively on the TV or newspaper. They have seconds, or maybe even split seconds to react, and protect. How many of us, in similar circumsatnces, would have acted the same way?

It is tragic that this young lady has lost her life, and I feel so sorry for her mother. HOWEVER, it was the young lady's involvement in drugs that led to the loss of her life. Her choice was to be in a drug transaction, and her decision to drive at police officers in the course of their duty.

Aggie238
Logan, UT

@EnglishAlan

"They have seconds, or maybe even split seconds to react, and protect. How many of us, in similar circumsatnces, would have acted the same way?"

The answer is nobody. I don't know about you, but if I see a car "heading at me" (which, according to the investigation, it wasn't) my first instinct is to get the heck out of the way, not shoot the driver in the head.

In fact, not shooting the driver would probably be the better choice to save my skin. If it's a choice between moving and shooting, and I choose to shoot, the car is probably going to run me over regardless of whether the driver is alive or not. F=m*a and all that, you know. (Newton's first law, not profanity, Mr. DN Moderator.)

One other point: If I were to have shot all the drivers of cars that have nearly hit me while I've been in a cross walk, I would be on death row by now.

Flashback
Kearns, UT

A picture from this very article shows Cowley sitting on a gurney prior to being loaded into an ambulance. Obviously something happened to him.

Gill is just priming the pump for re-election.

It will be interesting to see the plea bargain offer that comes from this, or the acquittal at trial.

This was a tragic situation all around. What compounds the tragedy is the political pressure being exerted by the mother's high powered attorney. Will Danielle Willard get justice? Will Officer Cowley get justice?

We shall see. None of us were there at the scene at the time. None of us know what happened except for Gill's version.

NedGrimley
Brigham City, UT

Aggie: "He or she is not the judge, jury, and executioner." You're right. The posters on this board are... ;)

Aggie238
Logan, UT

@NedGrimley

Your point is taken. :)

However, it is also true that when something like this happens, and the *investigation* reveals that the cop was never actually in danger and acted recklessly and inappropriately, the public trust in the police is going to take a hit (no pun intended). That should be expected as a natural consequence, and the resulting discussion of opinions is not only a fundamental right, but provides an important check against the authorities' abuse of the law in the future.

Comments on a random comment board (half of which, including mine, are probably not even from the jurisdiction in question) hardly compare to killing anybody, innocent or otherwise, without just cause. I hope the court system does right by justice in this case.

NedGrimley
Brigham City, UT

No argument from me, Aggie. Just chuckling about how quick we all are to hang someone without knowing a fraction of the facts.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Funny about these comments --

The same right-wingers support the jack-booted, gestapo police force tactics,
while trampling the Constitution's "innocent until proven guilty".

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