Family of Monroe man killed by police says it has more questions after body cam footage released

Dustin and Brandi Booth. Dustin Booth was died in a officer-involved shooting Feb. 11 in Monroe. SUBMITTED

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Dustin and Brandi Booth. Dustin Booth was died in a officer-involved shooting Feb. 11 in Monroe. SUBMITTED

The family of Dustin Booth, who was fatally shot by Monroe police last month, has more questions after the release of camera videos from the officers involved.

Five officers are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the incident that happened at 10:44 p.m. Feb. 11 after hours of Monroe officers trying to talk and negotiate with 35-year-old Booth, who was experiencing mental health issues, according to police.

The nighttime videos, which are shaky from officers’ activity, appear to show that Booth had a gun in his hand when the officers fired. Warren County Coroner Russell Uptegrove said a preliminary report indicates Booth was shot 13 times.

Due to the graphic nature of the videos, the Journal-News will will not publish them those online.

“The video raises so many questions. Dustin was walking casually, not running. The gun was not exposed until the police escalated into violence,” said Konrad Kircher, the family’s attorney.

Kircher said Monroe officers made three visits to the Booth residence within 10 days, “during which the police learned Dustin was mentally ill (and some officers knew him personally before that first visit and knew he was a good man). Why did they force a confrontation with him on a public road?.”

The family is “totally baffled” by the actions of the canine officer, according to Kircher.

“After the dog attack, the officer ran toward Dustin, who had his hands up, and tried to wrestle him to the ground. Before the officer grabbed him, Dustin said, ‘Listen to me, I don’t want to hurt nobody.’ Why did the police escalate the confrontation when a crisis intervention person could have talked to Dustin?,” Kircher questioned.

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A man was shot and killed by Monroe Police Officers in that area of New Garver Road Friday night. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A man was shot and killed by Monroe Police Officers in that area of New Garver Road Friday night. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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A man was shot and killed by Monroe Police Officers in that area of New Garver Road Friday night. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is continuing to work the incident, which will include the body camera video and other evidence. The case will then be presented to a grand jury for consideration, said Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.

Police said Booth drew a firearm from his waistband and was shot by officers.

In a scene from the videos, a man, likely the driver of the vehicle Booth was in, exited during the traffic stop and is seen crawling from the truck to the officers.

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An officer asks if the man is hurt and the response is, “No, no. I am fine.”

A person, maybe an officer or the driver, is heard yelling, “Stop him, stop him, he has got a gun.”

The K-9 officer releases the dog from the cruiser and there is yelling: “you are going to get bit.”

“Come back, come to me. Stop,” an officer yells at Booth, who appears to lower his hands. “Get you hands up.”

The police dog runs to Booth but does not appear to bite. Then an officer also approaches.

Booth says, “Listen to me I don’t want to hurt nobody.”

Officers continue to yell, “get on the ground.”

Booth is moving around and appears to turn with a shiny object that looks like a gun in his hand.

Shots are fired and officers yell at Booth, who is down in the median, “don’t move. Do not reach for that gun.”

Booth’s wife called 911 about 2:10 p.m. on that day stating her husband was experiencing a mental health crisis. She also said he was a danger to himself and to others.

Officers went to the the neighborhood where Booth drove to his Blue Grass Lane residence. He went inside without complying with officers trying to stop him, according to Monroe police.

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“Attempts to make contact with him through several different methods were attempted over the next several hours. Dustin was observed by officers to have a handgun in his possession while inside his residence and he appeared to be very agitated. Negotiators from the West Chester/Monroe Tactical Response Team as well as the Crisis Response Team from Butler Behavioral Health Services were requested to the scene in an effort to communicate with Dustin and to get him to the hospital for mental health treatment,” police said in the news release.

Officers believed Booth was armed and had access to other weapons in the house. They “pulled back” from the residence in an effort to calm the situation, but maintained observation on the residence out of concerns for the safety of the surrounding neighbors and community, police said.

When Booth left the house as a passenger in a vehicle, officers followed because there was a concern he was a danger to himself and the community. Officers followed to coordinate a traffic stop in and effort to take Booth into custody and have him transported to the hospital for mental health evaluation.

When Booth exited the vehicle, he failed to comply with the order of several officers and began walking away from the vehicle toward Ohio 63 with his hands up, according to police.

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“The driver of the vehicle yelled several times to the officers, ‘Stop him he has a gun’. Because Dustin was not complying with the officers’ commands, continuing to walk away from them, and because they had been told that he was still armed, the department’s K-9 was deployed as a less-lethal attempt to stop him. The K-9 was unsuccessful,” police said in the news release.

Officers then attempted to take Booth into custody. 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, police said.

The officers placed on administrative leave are Sgt. Caleb Payne, Officer Michael Doughman, Officer Skylar Halsey, Officer Micah Day and Officer Austin Whitt.

Booth was the father of two sons. His family said he was a great husband and father and coached the boys in multiple youth sports leagues, according to the statement from the attorney. Booth worked for Cleveland Cliffs for 13 years and he had a side business power washing and cleaning the exterior of homes.

He had no criminal record.

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