D.A. on Salt Lake cop who refused Pride Parade assignment: ‘maybe he should be in a different profession’

Posted at 9:29 PM, Jun 08, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill is disappointed and concerned that a Salt Lake City Police Department officer would refuse an assignment to work the Pride Parade.

"If he wants to make that statement then maybe he should be in a different profession than this one," Gill said of the officer.

He said when you choose the profession of public service, there are no strings attached.

"We cannot qualify the delivery of that service, that we promise to a community based on individuals who say, 'well I'm going to pick and choose which call to respond to, which fire to put out or which person to serve,'" Gill said.

The officer, whose name was not released, was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation. FOX 13 News asked for public reaction.

"It's his job, wherever they tell him to go, he should go do that," said Merlin Jacobsen. "At my work, if I have to do something I just take the good with the bad. I don't say, 'no I'm not going to do that,' its all part of the job."

Patricia Breathwaite also offered an opinion and said she thinks the officer should be allowed to refuse the assignment without repercussion.

"It's definitely a personal choice, and I don't think he should be harassed over it by any means," she said.

Gill said police officers are hired to protect everyone, without bias.

"Do you want the fate of your loved one to be qualified upon the personal beliefs of this agency that is supposed to be responsible to render aid or support?" Gill said. "We can not let that be the qualifying or distinguishing aspect of delivery of that service, because if we do, then we are all in trouble."