One Year Later, Accidental Police Shooting Still Resonates

It’s been one year today since a 34 year old Burlington woman was accidentally shot by a Burlington Police Officer in a case that still has repercussions a year later.

It was snowy and icy last January 6th when Burlington Police Officer Jesse Hill responded to a domestic disturbance between Autumn Steele and her husband Gabriel, arriving as the couple was arguing over their young son.

As Hill approached, the couple’s dog apparently attacked Hill, and he slipped on the snow while attempting to shoot the dog and accidentally shot Steele instead. She died shortly afterwards.

It’s a case that has attracted international attention, picked up by news sources in Australia and Russia among others. Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers did not opt to charge Hill in the case in February, which spurred several protests.

Protesters were out again on Wednesday, marching in front of the Burlington Police Department, they included Frank Statler, of Burlington, who says, “The release of the tapes. That’s all we really want, it could solve all our problems, if we would have all the tapes released. I don’t understand.”

In March, a 13 second video of the incident from the perspective of Officer Hill’s body camera was released to the public. Both the Hawk Eye Newspaper and the Steele Family have filed separate complaints with the Iowa Public Information Board in order to get more footage released.

The board has opted to hear that complaint.