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SLC officer who asked not to participate in Pride Parade speaks after department audit

Posted at 6:37 PM, Apr 17, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY - A new state audit released Tuesday has good and bad things to say about how the Salt Lake City Police Department has handled some high profile cases in recent years.

The audit praised the way the department handled last year's incident involving nurse Alex Wubbels. You probably remember the disturbing body camera footage where she's forcibly taken into custody after refusing to draw blood from an unconscious patient without a warrant. The audit says the department handled that internal investigation in a timely and proper manner.

However, the audit wasn't nearly as complimentary about how the department handled an incident from 2014, where former SLCPD officer, Eric Moustos, spoke out against covering the Utah Pride Parade.

"I felt extremely uncomfortable being a part of the celebration itself," said Moustos.

Moustos said he was misrepresented by the department he dedicated his life to for seven years. He says he asked to be reassigned after he was asked to participate in the Utah Pride Parade in 2014. A devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Moustos was shocked when he was suspended a few days later.

"They took my badge and my gun for discrimination," said Moustos.

He says it ruined his life after the department spoke out against him publicly.

"It was launched all over national media and that's when our whole lives went upside down. My wife and my family" said Moustos.

The state auditor seems to agree. The audit released says that some SLCPD management do not appear to understand the requirements of title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

The audit says in part, "when questioned when certain SLCPD management expressed the opinion that a request for excusal from assignment based on a religious need for accommodation was no different from any other request for excusal."

"I am happy that it’s bringing light on something that really needs to change because this issue is not going to go away," said Moustos.

In a written response to the audit, Salt Lake City Police Chief, Mike Brown, said he agreed with the findings.

Moustos later resigned from the department and doesn't feel like he can work in law enforcement anymore.

"I miss a lot of my brothers and sisters in blue. I miss that, I don’t know, brotherhood and a stable job," said Moustos.

Moustos now works in sales and wrote a book about the incident.