Butler County prosecutor refutes claims of bias in deadly officer-involved shooting
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BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser refuting claims his office is biased in favor of police officers.
The claims were made by the attorney representing the family of Dustin Booth.
On Feb. 11, the 35-year-old Booth was killed by Monroe police officers who had pulled him over at New Garver Road and Lebanon Street late that night.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations investigation and decision by a grand jury cleared the officers of any criminal charges in the use of force.
Since that time, the Booth family attorney claimed bias favoring police within the system.
Gmoser said when he took office, he decided that he alone would never decide a ruling in a use of force investigation. That leaves the decision up to a grand jury.
“Prosecutors are not born with an inherent bias favoring police officers. We are not. Neither are grand jurors for that matter.
FOX19 NOW has reached out to the Booth family attorney for a response but have not heard back yet.
What led to the eventually deadly encounter between officers and Booth started more than eight hours earlier in the day.
Police said officers got a call from Booth’s wife around 2 p.m. saying he was experiencing a “mental health crisis” and was “a danger to himself and to others.” Police found Booth pulling into his neighborhood and tried to pull him over.
Booth continued to his home, got out of the car and went inside without complying, according to police.
Officers tried to contact Booth over the next several hours as he remained in the residence. Police say they saw Booth had a gun and that he had access to more weapons.
Police said he was “very agitated.”
Efforts by crisis negotiators and mental health professionals failed to resolve the situation, according to police.
To try and calm the situation, officers said they pulled back “in an effort to calm the situation,” but police kept an eye on the home for the safety of the community.
At some point, Booth left the home and got in the passenger side of a car that left the area.
Several officers followed and coordinated a traffic stop to try and take Booth into custody and have him hospitalized for a mental health evaluation, according to police.
Police said they did not have confirmation he was still armed but believed he might be.
At the intersection of New Garver Road and OH-63, Booth got out and failed to comply with the officers’ orders, instead of walking away from his car toward OH-63 with his hands raised.
The driver of the vehicle ran out of the car and yelled multiple times, imploring officers to “Stop him he has a gun!”
Police explained what happened next in a previously released statement: “That is when he brought his hands down and pulled a handgun from the area of his waistline. This caused several officers to fire their weapons striking him multiple times. Officers called for medical help and provided first aid until paramedics arrived.”
All officers involved were placed under administrative leave.
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