Salt Lake City District Attorney Formally Asked the FBI to Open a Criminal Probe Into Local Police

by Jen Hayden – The repercussions from the bone-headed arrest of University of Utah Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels continue to reverberate. The Salt Lake City district attorney has formally requested the FBI open an investigation. From SF Gate: Prosecutors in Salt Lake County, Utah, have asked the FBI to join a criminal probe into the violent arrest of a local nurse who was manhandled by a detective and shoved screaming into a squad car as she tried to protect the legal rights of a patient. The FBI will be investigating the possible Civil Rights violation, something that is out of D.A. Gill’s hands: Gill’s office is conducting its own criminal probe but needs the FBI’s help to look into criminal civil rights violations, which fall under federal law. “In order to be thorough, and given the gravity of the rights potentially implicated, all issues must be completely examined to restore the public...

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Salt Lake’s Dem Mayor Goes Undercover as a Homeless Man for Three Days. Pledges Vital Assistance

by Tevye – This story has a ‘Brubaker’ feel to it. It happened over four months ago, and until recently, was known by only a small handful of people. Last March, Democratic Mayor Ben McAdams put into play something he long felt compelled to do. Due to a state law, he had to select possible sites for three new homeless centers/shelters. Two for men and one for women and children. Regardless of the choices, it would prove highly unpopular in the neighborhoods. Each perspective area arose in fury at the idea. But it had to be done. He needed a more personal perspective. And it was this catalyst that solidified his decision. McAdams left work on a Friday with Patrick Reimherr, the Director of Government Affairs. They both wore three-day growth. No wallets, money, or I.D.’s  They were dressed in their oldest jeans, sneakers, sweatshirts and hoodies. Each had a small bag with some clothes, a blue tarp...

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Salt Lake City Police Invested in Training and Haven’t had an Officer-involved Shooting in Two Years

by Kelly Macias – In the United States, we’ve come to accept a narrative that part of being a police officer means that an unfortunate reality of the job is that someone (a civilian) may lose their life in a justifiable shooting. This line of thinking is simplistic and prevents us from looking at much-needed reform within the institution of policing and it doesn’t have to be true. Less than six months into the year, police officers have already shot and killed 367 people—a number slightly higher than the last two years. But there is evidence that when police embrace training tactics that involve communication and empathy, they don’t have to take lives. In Utah’s capital, police have actively embraced a tactic called de-escalation. The officers being trained in de-escalation are encouraged to communicate and empathize with suspects, take stock of the factors contributing to a confrontation, and consider ways to disengage before the situation spirals out...

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Family Escorted Off Flight; Pilot Thought Autistic Daughter Posed Safety Threat

By Walter Einenkel, Daily Kos – A United Airlines flight made an emergency landing last Tuesday in Salt Lake City airport and an Oregon family was then escorted off. The reason? The plane’s pilot felt that their 15-year-old autistic daughter posed a safety threat. She (Donna Beegle) said her 15-year-old daughter, Juliette, is high functioning, but doesn’t speak. Beegle knew Juliette was getting hungry, but Juliette wouldn’t eat the snacks the family had on hand. Juliette is a picky eater, Beegle said, a common trait of children who have autism. Beegle thought hot food might appeal to her daughter. She asked a flight attendant if she could buy a hot meal from first class, but the flight attendant denied the request after a 25-minute debate with Beegle. At this point Beegle told the flight attendant:   ‘You know what? Maybe after she has a meltdown and she’s crying and trying to...

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