Last week Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill determined that two West Valley City detectives were not justified in their shooting of an unarmed woman. In response, the County’s GOP Chairman Chad Bennion offered some harsh criticism of Gill that isn’t sitting well with some.
In an article published by the Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake County GOP Chairman Chad Bennion condemned Sim Gill’s record as District Attorney, describing it as weak. He says there are multiple instances where Gill let off criminals while coming down hard on police officers. He attributed this mentality to Gill’s upbringing in India where he saw instances of police brutality. Those statements angered several people including West Valley City Mayoral Candidate Margaret Peterson who is calling for Bennion to publicly apologize to Gill. She says politically charged statements, like those from Bennion, are inappropriate as West Valley City tries to move on from the controversies surrounding the police department.
“When we’re trying to get these issues solved, it’s been difficult for everyone, and making polarizing statements of that nature doesn’t help solve the problem,” she says.
But Bennion says he has no plans to back down from his comments.
“It’s a legitimate issue," he says. "His office is wanting in that area. And with the recent decisions that have come down I think it’s a prime opportunity for some candidate to run against Sim and be successful.”
Last week Gill ruled that two West Valley City Police officers were not justified in the shooting death of Danielle Willard. The investigation also led the District Attorney’s office to drop more than 100 drug cases involving the West Valley City Neighborhood Narcotics Unit.