The Logan City Police Department has terminated the employment of an officer after an internal review of a recent investigation from Utah Department of Public Safety.
In a statement released Friday evening from Logan City Chief of Police Gary Jensen, the DPS investigation concluded officer Miguel Deras had “mishandled sensitive evidence” related to the extortion and homicide of University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey while Deras was employed with the University of Utah Police Department. Deras was a probationary employee, Jensen wrote, and his termination was effective immediately.
The investigation was opened after The Salt Lake Tribune published allegations that Deras had displayed and made inappropriate comments about explicit images of 21-year-old McCluskey to co-workers while investigating her concerns of being extorted. McCluskey was slain in 2018, shortly after bringing her concerns to law enforcement.
“The conclusions drawn in the DPS report are inconsistent with the high expectations and standards placed upon our officers by the community and our department,” Jensen stated. “Our continuing efforts to hold sacred the public’s trust and our duty to serve and protect has resulted in today’s decision.”
Logan City Police will not be providing further comment on the matter, Jensen stated.
The UDPS report found evidence that Deras had made inappropriate comments about the McCluskey photos, but did not confirm the reports that he inappropriately saved or transmitted the images.
Deras, through an attorney, said he showed the images during a routine briefing to ask how they should be handled and stored but has denied bragging about or joking about the photos.
Prior to her death, McCluskey had repeatedly contacted UofU Police to report harassment by Melvin Shawn Rowland, who police say killed McCluskey before fatally shooting himself. McCluskey’s family has sued the department, alleging that had police taken her reports seriously, they might have prevented her death. UofU officials state that while mistakes may have been made in the case, there’s no evidence that her death could have been prevented.