Utah GOP chief calls 'cop hater' remark by SLC chair unfortunate

Aug 21 2013 - 3:52pm

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The leader of Utah's Republican Party says recent comments from a local GOP official calling a county prosecutor a "cop hater" were unfortunate and a distraction.

State chairman James Evans held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss the comments from Chad Bennion, who leads the Salt Lake County GOP.

Bennion made his comments to Salt Lake Tribune last week after Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled a fatal police shooting was unjustified.

Bennion said Gill, a Democrat, might be "a cop hater" and said Gill's ruling may have been influenced by his childhood growing up in India where he witnessed police brutality.

Democrats have demanded Bennion apologize, saying his comments were inflammatory and over the line.

Bennion did not return messages Wednesday.

Gill said he's proud of his heritage and stands by his decision.

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