New investigation launched to determine whether criminal charges should be filed
So......I'm curious, will the officers who have been on paid
vacation......er "administrative leave" still stay on that status?Keep in mind, the officers were apparentally under the supervision of a
170k per year police chief, and a 190k per year city manager.Don't the citizens of west valley deserve a little bit better police
supervision for those amounts?
If we all would do the right things, then situations like this would not exist.
This is one of those stories where it's sad because from the evidence
provided and the conclusion reached as a result of the D.A. investigation that
neither party (the victim or the police) were doing the right things and made
poor choices. That tends to lead to tragedy. It's unfortunate that there
are families on both sides of this issue who are now and have been suffering as
the result of poor choices. My heart goes out to them. It just goes to show
that our choices do affect others positive or negative. Hopefully we all learn
from this and move forward with a better resolve to always strive to do
what's right to avoid tragedies like this in the future.
Note to self: If you're in West Valley and you see a cop, run away.
You're liable to get shot or framed for DUI.
It appears these two officers made a mistake. I am glad I don't have to
make life-and-death decisions. Keep in mind that Danielle Willard would not
have died if she had been obeying the law. I'm not saying she committed a
capital offense, but she put herself in the situation.
Danielle Willard was armed with an SUV.When your partner goes down and it
looks like the car struck him, what are you supposed to do? Investigate to make
sure he was actually hit? Criminals should live in fear of the law. Good police
officers should not not live in fear of prosecution because they made an honest
mistake in the line of duty.Sure, police should follow the law. Out
of control law enforcement can be a huge problem.Just give the
benefit of the doubt to the officers.
Try My Best says "Keep in mind that Danielle Willard would not have died if
she had been obeying the law."The penalty for her crimes may have been
jail at worst. She would not have been sentenced to death by firing squad. You
cannot justify that shooting.
All I know is... I would just hate to be a police officer today.Yesterday the Utah Supreme Court decided police officers who pursued a
teenager who took off when they stopped him (because his parents called police
and told them he was very upset and took the family car without permission) are
liable for him taking off and crashing his car. Message to police officers...
"If you pursue people who run... YOU are responsible for any mistakes they
may make".Now this one. Message to officers... "If you
shoot Sim Gill will do everything he can to prosecute you. Even if you feel
your life is in danger".Some questions in my mind...1. How
does Sim Gill know what the officers were feeling in that moment (threatened or
not)?2. How does he find that the officer was not hit by the car, but he
got minor injuries? Where did he get the injuries IF the car didn't hit
him? Did he do them to himself?I can't wait till I get the
chance to vote Sim Gill out. I voted for him, but I've been sorry ever
@2bits. At least Sim Gill is not a rubber stamp for law enforcement. Its the
check and balances that make this country from going to a rogue type of law
enforcement.The statements made by the detectives at the scene did
not follow the evidence that was produced by the forensics. So in a nutshell
they made false statements. When the detectives were questioned after the fact
because their statements did not add up they took the fifth.Also in
every officer police shooting their vehicle is immediately seized. In detective
cowleys car there were opened evidence bags, with missing evidence that should
of been checked into evidence.(this evidence nothing to do with this case) So there is a reason that 107 state and federal cases were dismissed
because of detective cowley. And I assume if he is not charged with manslaughter
or worse he will be at least charged with evidence tampering.
Absolutely amazing that some people here are still defending these officers. The
unwarranted killing of Danielle Willard was far from the only thing wrong with
these two. Taking trophies, money, and drugs from crime scenes and
investigations for themselves. Over a *hundred* cases dismissed because of
police misbehavior and non-credibility.Those who imply that anybody
who ever ends up on the wrong side of the law deserves whatever comes to them
would probably not be pleased if their friends and family members were shot the
next time they broke the speed limit.
@ all of those who are defending the officers. Maybe you missed this portion of
the article, so I'll paste it for you to read: >>>>>>"The district attorney said the evidence
indicates that the lives of the two detectives were two detectives were not in
jeopardy when they fired six shots between them at Willard and her
vehicle.""Cowley told investigators that he fired his weapon
after Willard backed up her car into him and because he believed Salmon had been
hit by the vehicle and was down. But Gill said the evidence doesn't support
those statements that he fired from the rear of her vehicle or that Salmon had
been hit. He said Cowley later admitted that he didn't see Salmon get hit,
just that he could no longer see him."
The dismissal of over a hundred cases for bad evidence shows the mentality of
the lack of professionalism by the West Valley department. Disband it and bring
in Unified. Shoot first is not a policy we want to encourage.
Shaun,I don't expect Sim Gill or ANYBODY to be a rubber stamp for the
police. But Sim Gill is the OTHER extreme.All 107 cases
didn't need to be dismissed. That was Gill's decision. He needs to
be responsible for his decisions. I don't want 107 drug dealers back in
my neighborhood because Sim Gill has an ax to grind with law enforcement. Many of these drug dealers are in your neighborhood today (because of
Sim Gill's decision to let them go without trial). They are probably
doing what they were doing again. I want to hear his justification for each
drug dealer he put back on the street before I will vote for him again. You
don't dismiss 107 case just because an officer made a mistake in another
case.Sim Gill is not "keeping this country from going to a rogue
type of law enforcement". He is an enemy to law enforcement. Ask any
person involved in law enforcement. Even the ones I know are clean dispise him
and think he's out to get them.They need a working
relationship. Either Gill... or every person in law enforcement needs to go.
I wouldn't give two bits for some of the weak comments made here trying to
excuse police for homocide.If you want that kind of law enforcement,
go join Snowden!
It's hard to understand why officers in the task force have not yet been
fired for mishandling of evidence. It seems the evidence mishandling was not an
isolated incident. As far as the shooting goes, I would hate to be the judge as
to whether or not the police officers felt their lives were in danger or that
the shooting was the result of a rogue police force. If an escaping car came
close enough to me to scrape my knee, I would also probably judge that lives
were in danger. At the same time, I'm reminded of the Box Elder County
incident not so long ago wherein a girl was raped by law enforcement. Definitely, all those who were routinely mishandling evidence should have been
fired instead of put on administrative leave. Whether or not criminal charges
are justified against the officers may depend on evidence not yet shared with
@2bits. Sim dismissed those cases because detective Cowley tampered with and
stole evidence. The D.A. office only found out about his evidence tampering
because in officer related shootings the officers car is immediately seized and
inspected. Upon inspection it was found Cowley had evidence(unrelated to
willard) that should of not been with him and evidence was missing as well. This
was not an isolated incident with cowley.How can the D.A. prosecute
cases where the evidence has been compromised? Any first year defense attorney
could easily win cases where the evidence has been compromised.And
to say Gill is a enemy of law enforcement is a baseless. The D.A. office
prosecutes hundreds, if not thousands of criminal cases. If he was against law
enforcement he wouldn't be prosecuting those cases.
It never did take a mental giant to figure out that this was an unjustified
murder, and has been allowed to languish all these months because the killers
had badges, uniforms, and public paychecks. Compare this blatant murder to the
Trayvon Martin case, and then ask yourself where the outrage matches the facts,
and where it's totally misplaced. This was a clear-cut murder of an
unarmed little gal, and it should be run up the proverbial flagpole to make an
example of killers who get paid to uphold the law and then believe they are
Couldn't he have just shot out the tires??
Shaun,There were not 107 accusation of evidence tampering. There was one
involving Cowley I'm aware of. The 107 cases were dismissed because
certain people had anything to do with them (and Gill is on a personal
crusade).West Valley made mistakes, but that doesn't
automatically mean 107 drug offenders must be put back on the streets.
That's a judgment call. I am one citizen who's not happy about it
(both Gill and WVPD)I hope they clean up the West Valley PD.I
hope the drug dealers Gill released don't kill anybody.I hope Gill is
not re-elected.That's just how I feel. I have friends in law
enforcement, and from talking to them there's no doubt in my mind Gill is
out to get law enforcement (not just West Valley), and I think we need a DA who
can work with the police, not one on a crusade to send police to jail and send
drug dealers back to our streets.JayTee,"Not
justified" does not mean it was "Murder". That's still TBD.
But the Martin case is over. The jury decided it was self defense (NOT murder
west valley police are the target of more lawsuits, than the rest of the state
combined. however, it seems silly to have gill re-investigate the same
shooting. a special prosecutor should be brought in to avoid the appearance of
I feel for Danielle's familyfirst they lost her to drugs -
though there was hope they could recover her againthen they lost her
to this shooting - because she was involved in drugs - but there is no recovery
in this life
Wonderpus,There's nothing wrong with defending the police. IF they are charged with Homicide and found guilty... I'll switch to your
side. But I don't think they are guilty of murder (even if a guy sitting
at a desk decides they probably shouldn't have fired).I M LDS
2,A board of review finding it "not justified" does not mean
"Homicide". You are jumping the gun on that one.I am
personally very suspect of the DAs investigation. His own explanation made no
sense. He said he determined that the officer was not hit by the car. But in
the next paragraphy he said the officer suffered minor injuries. If the car
didn't hit him, how did he get injured?I think there is enough
tragedy here to go around. Convicting the officers in the press before they
have even been charged with anything is premature (IMO)
This is the first time in a very long time that Government has given me a reason
to believe that there are a few honest people left in Government.This is truly a good thing.We need peace officers again . not law
enforcers.Would it be nice to be driving alongand come up on a
police officer that is visable trying to help remind people to slow down and
drive safely rather than a law enforcer hiding, waiting to trap someone.These so called law enforcers killed a woman. they need to be punished
and imprisoned. If Sim Gill were to run for any office I would give
every dime I have to support him because he is honest and a true statesman. And maybe the only one left.
To believe that all cops are always in the right, and never make any mistakes --
is fertile ground for Authoritative regimes.
Danielle's story is a tragedy. But the positive that came out of her
tragedy, is what was uncovered. At the end of the day it turns out she was not
the only way breaking the law. My sympathy goes out to Danielle's family
and my admiration goes out to a mother who fought for justice for her daughter.
Regardless of the lawsuit, you can never replace a child.
DA Sim Gill is a man of honor who is committed to doing the right thing. He
should be commended for looking at the facts ruling appropriately.
This article was very disturbing and I can honestly say that I am grateful I do
not live in the boundaries of the West Valley Police force. Too much has been
taken for granted and too much has been overlooked and lastly too many instances
have been let slip under the law. Shameful..that department needs to be