When acting West Valley City Police Chief Anita Schwemmer announced the other day that the FBI will investigate her department, she implied that the feds first had been invited to get involved by city police "to rebuild public trust." That's not how it happened.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill rightly asked the federal law enforcement agency to help investigate West Valley police after his department found serious problems with the way the city's officers have been conducting business. Gill had dismissed 19 mostly drug-related cases in West Valley because of poor investigations and is concerned about the circumstances of the fatal shooting of a young, unarmed drug user by city detectives.
The FBI will focus on the tactics of a disbanded neighborhood narcotics unit and the possible coverup of officers' involvement in the death of 21-year-old Danielle Willard last November. One detective, in particular, was involved in many of the dismissed cases and the Willard shooting. But it seems likely that more than just one officer is involved.