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Attorney: Body camera footage of Monroe police shooting could result in wrongful death lawsuit

Dustin Booth killed in police shooting
Dustin Booth
Posted at 6:39 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 12:49:42-05

HAMILTON, Ohio — Body-worn camera video that shows Monroe police officers killing a man could bring a wrongful death lawsuit.

The family of Dustin Booth thinks officers forced him into a violent confrontation that ended Booth's life, according to attorney Konrad Kircher, who represents the Booth family.

"Despite the fact (Dustin) was a kind and gentle person, he didn't want to hurt anybody," Kircher said. "The police forced violence. First with a dog, and then trying to tackle him knowing there was a gun on his person. It's not clear that Dustin was going to use the gun against anybody. In fact, we believe he was not. Nevertheless, he was killed for having it."

Booth died Feb. 11. Kircher said the police videos released to WCPO Monday brought Booth's family more questions than answers. His widow, mom and mother-in-law have watched the videos multiple times, Kircher said.

"They just can't understand how it happened, why it happened," he said. "Dustin (said), 'I don't want to hurt anybody,' yet the police force the violence and force the shooting."

Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser declined comment. Gmoser told WCPO 9 News he never speaks about cases before grand jurors see evidence to avoid prejudicing the panel.

Jurors deciding if the Monroe officers involved did right or wrong will see several angles, including clips from a K9 officer unleashed during a struggle.

"(Booth) was delusional, clearly suffering from mental illness, but was talking in a very conversational tone, never threatened anybody," Kircher said. "In fact, we have one recording where he tells a police officer, 'I'm afraid of police and doctors because I don't want to go back to the hospital.'"

Booth's wife apparently called police for help with her husband who was said to be a danger to himself and others.

One angle of the bodycam video shows Booth pull the gun out from the area of his wasteline. This caused several officers to fire their weapons striking him multiple times, police said.

Kircher said the gun Booth had was a licensed firearm but says he never aimed it at others. It is part of the reason Booth's family has questions.

"He had never had an adult criminal record of any type, worked two jobs," Kircher said. "The final two and a half weeks of his life had some kind of psychotic break, some mental illness and that cost him his life and the family just questions why he still isn't here."

It is not clear when grand jurors will see the evidence and make a decision.

You can watch the raw video of the five officers' bodycams in the player below. NOTE: We stopped the raw video at the moments the officers opened fire on Booth.

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