The Moab Police Department in Utah is being sued for $50 million by Gabby Petito’s family. Officers’ identification of the 22-year-fiancé old’s as the “actual major aggressor” in a domestic quarrel two weeks before to her death is used as evidence that he did not kill her.
The Petito parents are requesting $50,000,000 in compensation. In their lawsuit, they allege that Moab police were negligent in their handling of domestic violence reports by neglecting to examine the “self-evidently false statements” of Brian Laundrie, 23. Petito allegedly informed the government agency on Monday that he intends to sue them.
The Petitos say that police misconduct or carelessness contributed to their daughter’s untimely death.
“Moab cops failed to perceive the significant threat (Petito) and failed to properly investigate,” the family’s attorney, Brian Stewart, said during a press conference on Monday. He was recalling the day when Petito and Laundrie were removed from their car by Moab law enforcement following a report of a domestic quarrel.
Stewart said that Gabby’s friends and family lacked the knowledge to identify that she was a victim and in need of quick help.
During Petito and Laundrie’s cross-country road journey last summer, the aspiring travel influencer vanished. Laundrie, who had previously escaped to a Florida nature preserve after a nationwide search yielded up negative results, was again the focus of authorities.
Petito was discovered in Grand Teton National Forest during a protracted search for Laundrie. The medical examiner concluded that she had been strangled to death. Around the middle of October, Laundrie was discovered in the nature preserve, writing in a notebook. When asked about her death, he blamed himself. An autopsy revealed that he shot himself in the head, resulting in his death.
Petito’s parents and their spouses sued Laundrie’s family, alleging that he murdered Petito and knew where her corpse was hidden; months later, Moab police received a notice of claim from the family.
Vehicle stopped two weeks before incident Happened
The Petito family says that the traffic stop in August of last year, which was carried out after the witness reported that he “had seen Brian abuse Gabby,” is the crux of Petito’s argument.
A white Ford van was stopped by police for going too fast and crashing into a curb, as stated in a police report.
Moab police officers filmed Petito and Laundrie having a conversation. Petito said she initiated physical contact with her fiance. When police arrived, they found Petito bleeding from her arm and face. Laundrie “gets annoyed by me a lot,” she told the police, and she “demonstrated how Brian forcefully grabbed her face.”
The letter claims that Petito “exhibited all the signs of an abuse partner” and is to fault for the tragedy. According to the notification, the police did not pursue the matter any further.
Apparently, a picture was taken at the moment that “shows Gabby’s face with blood splattered over her cheeks and left eye,” as stated by the family. The brutality of Brian’s attack is made clear by this.
This pair, according to Laundrie, is under a lot of pressure. When Laundrie reached for a smack to give to Petito, he was shoved away by Laundrie. Moreover, he acknowledged that he had stolen Petito’s phone. He said he didn’t have one, and that his biggest worry was that she would leave him. According to the notification, he thereafter pulled out his phone and provided his contact information to the interviewing authorities.
One of the police officers suggested that Petito be arrested because of Laundrie’s erratic conduct and the cuts. She was the principal offender, and Laundrie was the victim, according to Utah’s domestic violence legislation.
Both Petito and Laundrie were upset by the accusation, but the police said they wouldn’t press charges if Petito and Laundrie agreed to spend the night apart.
The notice states, “Roughly two weeks later, Brian viciously killed Gabby and abandoned her body in the Grand Teton National Forest.”
An outside investigator evaluated the action from the Moab Police Department and suggested probation for the officers involved. Although there was enough evidence to send Petito to trial, the cops committed “many unintended mistakes,” he noted, including neglecting to cite any domestic violence victim.
The new policies were suggested in the January report that followed the investigation. More cops received legal education and training on domestic abuse.
While it did not discuss disciplinary action for the officers involved, the city did pledge to “follow the report’s recommendations on new procedures for police department, including extra domestic violence training for officers.”
The assessment concluded that “our officers demonstrated civility, respect, and empathy in their handling of the event,” according to the statement released by the City of Moab.
At the virtual press conference conducted on Monday, at the order of their attorneys, neither of Petito’s biological parents nor his stepmother spoke. The film of the event in Moab, however, was “extremely traumatic,” as her mother herself admitted.
As Nicole Schmidt expressed, it is important for victims of domestic abuse to get the care they need.
Joseph Petito, Petito’s father, stated the family hoped that the general public would gain insight from his son’s experiences.
When asked what she wanted to be remembered for, he answered, “Helping those who feel like they have nowhere to turn.”