Police Shooting

Police officer shot mother-of-three dead while attempting to shoot her dog

A board in Iowa will now sue to see the whole video.


Burlington, Iowa / YouTube

REGULATORS IN THE US state of Iowa plan to sue a police department which has refused to release a video of an officer mistakenly shooting a mother of three dead.

The incident occurred on 6 January this year when officer Jesse Hill responded to a domestic abuse callout at the Burlington home of 34-year-old Autumn Steele. Steele had spent the night before in jail after being arrested on domestic abuse charges.

When Hill arrived, Steele was hitting her husband, the Des Moines Register reports.

The Iowa Public Information Board last week voted to sue the Burlington Police Department, which has so far only released a 12-second clip of the video, in order to obtain the full video.

Hill claimed that the family’s pet German shepard jumped on his back. When he pulled his gun to shoot the dog, he hit Steele twice. Her three-year-old son witnessed the shooting.

A prosecutor determined that the shooting was justified because the dog attacked the officer, who has since returned to work without having been disciplined.

The dog was later found not to be vicious and returned to its owners.

Steele’s mother, Gina Colbert of Columbus, Georgia, traveled to Iowa in May to demand the “full and unconditional release” of the records, saying authorities were defying the law.

“Her family and the people of Burlington deserve to know the truth,” Colbert said during a rally in Burlington.

Adam Klein, an Atlanta lawyer for one of Steele’s two young sons, said authorities were showing “callous disregard for good people who deserve better.”

The board, which oversees the release of records in the state, voted 4-3 in favour of pursuing charges.

Klein last week said that “if ever there was a case that merited a full hearing before this board, this is it”.

Read: Video shows sheriff’s deputy shooting partner before handcuffed suspect is shot dead

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