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News Blog

S Salt Lake Police: Stop criticizing us

by Jesse Fruhwirth
- Posted // 2009-10-08 -

South Salt Lake Police Department claims it was the Salt Lake District Attorney's office that decided to not file--or delay filing--charges against the attackers of DJ Bell and Dan Fair. At the same time, Bell's attorneys are accusing the police of misconduct that stretches beyond the original incident.

Bell, 31, formerly of South Salt Lake, was accused of kidnapping two children, ages 2 and 4, from his next door neighbor on July 5, 2008. He and his boyfriend, Fair, were then severely attacked. While Bell was put on trial for kidnapping--and faced decades in prison--the attackers have not been criminally charged. Bell was acquitted of kidnapping and burglary charges Sept. 25.

According to the SSLPD press release:

An investigation was conducted and the information was presented to the District Attorney’s Office for its decision whether to pursue both kidnapping charges against Mr. Bell and assault charges against the parents and guests. 

The press release came two days after Bell and his defense attorney announced he and Fair may sue SSLPD for their handling of the case. Defense attorneys Susanne Gustin and Roger Kraft placed blame on the police and did not criticize the DA's office when asked about the DA's office's handling of the case. 

The press release also states the media accounts of the investigation have been inaccurate, but then says they will issue no further comment on the case.  

While the police are defending their actions on the day of the incident, defense attorney Susanne Gustin says the department's mishandling of the case extended well beyond July 4, 2008. Many of Bell and Fair's former roommates were also at Monday's press conference and talked about their experience with SSLPD. Gustin summed up some of their claims in an e-mail to City Weekly: 

...[W]hile Dan Fair was being wheeled out on a stretcher, the neighbors were screaming, "you fucking fagots, we hope your friend dies, if he doesn't, we'll finish him off when he comes back."   Many officers heard this and did nothing even though they said, "they are threatening us." 
When [roommate] Chris Swan returned to the house on July 4, he was threatened--SSLPD said just go in your house and ignore them.  Chris said,  "all the doors and windows are broken or kicked in, it isn't safe in my house."

In the next week, the neighbors drove by and pointed their hands out the window like a gun and said "you're dead."  911 was called several times.  SSLPD laughed it off and said "don't call again."

Bell and Fair have retained civil attorneys and confirmed they will sue their alleged attackers. They have not made a final decision about whether to sue SSLPD. 
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Posted // October 9,2009 at 08:36

Sue the shit out of South Salt Lake for a botched investigation, make POST re-training of the investigating officers a point of settlement and focus-in on why the District Attorney's Office went as limp as Rep Matheson on health care reform. And, along the way, begin a civil suit against the gentle, misunderstood South Pacific Islanders who were just caught up in the moment...right?

I would like to know why the Violent Assholes weren't cuffed and taken away for attempted murder? I can't shoot an unarmed burgular in my house, but I can go next door and beat my neighbor nearly to death if I believe he did something and I have no proof? Seriously, South Salt Lake, WTF!?!?!

You know, there's reason South Salt Lake is viewed as the unshaven armpit of our local municipalities.

Just as the right-wingnuts attack Obama because he's black, being gay was an alleged crime that morning, not attempted homo-cide by a gang of drunken, Violent Assholes who should be in prison or, in my fantasy world, dead by now. I want the hysterical drunk described as the "Mother" to have to go to court, over and over again, until she's ready to piss her pants. The gentle, misunderstood South Pacific Islanders fucked up and they know it. They probably knew it when the beatings started. It's just hard to stop a drunken bull from ramming the barn door when he's already running at it full force.