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FOX 13 Investigates: Moab police officer who said vulgarity over radio was fired by state

Posted at 5:14 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 19:14:29-04

MOAB, Utah — About 10 months before he departed Moab police with a vulgar term the whole county could hear, the Utah Department of Corrections terminated Everett Gist, Jr. for what a supervisor called offensive Facebook posts.

“Your posts raise serious doubts about whether the department or the public can trust you to protect the civil rights of all people,” the director of Utah Adult Probation and Parole wrote to Gist in an October 2020 notice that he would be fired.

FOX 13 INVESTIGATES: Moab officer hurls profane insult at assistant chief on police radio

The agency is part of the Utah Department of Corrections. The department’s director formally terminated Gist in December.

FOX 13 obtained the notices to Gist through a public records request. The records recount a Department of Corrections investigation into Gist that found Facebook posts insulting to Muslims, Latinos and Native Americans.

Gist also wrote that he wanted to punch people who didn’t support President Donald Trump. The first referenced post was in 2016 – years after Gist started in law enforcement. The records show they continued into 2020.

Gist did not return a message seeking comment Thursday.

Philip Stinson, a professor of criminal justice at Bowling Green State University who studies police integrity, said the posts would get an officer fired at law enforcement agencies across the country.

“It’s absolutely important that people have trust in their law enforcement officers,” Stinson said, “the law enforcement agencies that serve their community.”

Stinson said Moab should have known why Gist was terminated from his earlier job.

“And they may well have known that information,” Stinson said. “They may have decided even so they were going to give this officer a second chance of employment at this agency.”

A Moab spokeswoman declined to comment Thursday, calling the Gist issue a personnel matter, though she did cite the city’s inclusion statement. It says Moab embraces diversity.

Gist, who public records say is 46 years old, had his employment with Moab end last month, though the city still hasn’t said if he was fired or resigned. On Sept. 28, Gist went on the countywide radio channel and said a goodbye that referenced assistant police chief Braydon Palmer.

“It was nice working with you guys, but Braydon and the rest of them are a bunch of ****suckers!” Gist said, according to a recording of the radio traffic.

Gist was not one of the officers who responded to the report of a domestic assault between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie. Moab police have said how those two officers investigated the case on the side of the highway will be reviewed by another law enforcement agency.

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