The family of an Iowa woman who was fatally shot by a cop trying to kill her family’s dog filed a lawsuit last week.
Autumn Steele, 34, was shot by Burlington cop Jesse Hill on January 6, 2015 as her 3-year-old son stood next to her.
Hill responded to a domestic disturbance call at the Steel’s residence and discovered the couple having a verbal disagreement.
He began shooting at the Steele’s German Shepard “Sammy” after the dog allegedly bit him. But instead of shooting the dog, officer Hill ended up slipping in the snow and shooting Autumn Steele in the chest.
“As Hill was firing the first shot, he lost his balance and fell backwards but continued to discharge his service weapon,” the lawsuit states.
Autumn’s Steele’s husband, Gabriel, along with Gina Colbert, her mother, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa last week alleging wrongful death and excessive force.
It asks for unspecified damages and claims Burlington cop Jesse Hill fired his gun in an “unreasonable, unnecessary, and reckless manner” striking and killing Autumn Steele in her front yard and that the Burlington Police Department failed to properly train Hill or properly supervise the officer in the use of deadly force.
Burlington police have steadfastly refused to release full footage from officer Hill’s body and dash cam, as well as 911 calls made prior to the shooting.
In October, the Iowa Public Information Board voted 5-3 to file charges against the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Burlington Police Department for violating Iowa’s open records requests laws by denying records and footage involving the 2015 shooting of Autumn Steele.
In April, Burlington police released a 12-seconds of body camera footage shown from officer Hill’s perspective, which can be seen below.
The footage shows Steele arguing with her husband over their young son screaming, “He’s got my kid!”
As officer Hill approaches, a dog can be heard growling.
Hill orders Steele, “get your dog!”
He then slips backwards in the snow and fires two shots.
Protestors rallied in April in front of the Des Moines Courthouse calling for the resignation or termination of officer Hill.
Prosecutors declined to file charges against Hill.
The Burlington Animal Hearing Board unanimously decided to return Sammy, a German Shepard mix, after determining the dog was not vicious or dangers.