Crime

Body Camera Video Of Officer Accidentally Shooting Mother In Front Of Her Child Released (Video)

| by Jonathan Constante
Burlington Police Officer Jesse Hill.Burlington Police Officer Jesse Hill.

The body camera video (below) of the moment an Iowa police officer accidentally shot and killed a mother of three in front of her son and husband was released in March 2015.

The incident occurred on Jan. 6, 2015. Burlington Police Officer Jesse Hill was responding to a domestic disturbance call when he encountered Autumn Steele and her husband Gabriel Steele, WQAD reported.

Autumn had just been released from Des Moines County jail, where she spent the night after being charged with domestic assault on her husband, the Free Thought Project reported.

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A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

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A police officer saw a young black couple drive by and pulled them over. What he did next left them stunned:

According to Hill’s report, Autumn was chasing after her husband, who was walking away from the house with their 3-year-old child in his arms. She was reportedly hitting Gabriel on the back of his head.

The 12-second clip shows the moment Hill approaches the couple. The child can be heard crying and Autumn is heard shouting, “He’s got my kid!”

The officer tells the couple to get their dog before letting off two shots. The camera angle turns skywards as he slips.

Steele was rushed to a nearby hospital, but died of a gunshot wound to her stomach. Hill said he was aiming for the German Shepherd, which he claims tried to bite him. The officer said he slipped and shot Steele instead.

Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers called the incident a “very tragic, accidental death,” KBUR reported.

“Officer Jesse Hill's actions could be determined to be reasonable under the circumstances to protect himself from injury,” Beavers said.

Witnesses claimed that Steele was “wailing” on her husband at the time of the incident and that the dog was all “riled” up, according to Beaver’s report.

“Based upon my review of the case with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and a full review of the facts and circumstances provided to me concerning the death of Mrs. Autumn Steele, it is determined that no criminal charges against Officer Jesse Hill are supported by the evidence,” Beavers wrote in her ruling. “Officer Hill was faced with the decision to shoot in an instant. He had to process the situation alone, and made the decision at the time the threat was occurring.”

The Steele family says they will continue to fight for justice. They have been fighting for the release of further details relating to the case, such as 911 call transcripts, emails and dashboard camera footage.

An Iowa regulatory board decided earlier in December to make the body camera footage public.

“It was such a long road to just get here,” said Gina Colbert, Steele's mother. “We wanted somebody to listen and they're listening now and finally hearing. We're not being told no anymore. We're not being ignored.”

Sources: WQAD, KBUR, The Free Thought Project / Photo credit: The Free Thought Project