‘He like grabbed my face.’ Police release video of Gabby Petito describing fight with Brian Laundrie
Police in Utah released new body camera video Thursday night that shines a different light on what may have happened to Gabby Petito before her disappearance.
This newly released video taken on Aug. 12 is from a second Moab, Utah, police officer who responded to the 911 call of an argument between Petito and her fiancé Brian Laundrie.
The video shows a distraught Petito talking about the physical altercation she has with Laundrie. It also gives more insight into the officers' decision not to charge either Petito or Laundrie.
The Blue Point native tells the officer with the body camera that Laundrie grabbed her face during the argument.
At first, the officer tells Petito whoever the primary aggressor was during the incident has to be charged and there is no choice in the matter. The officer emphasizes that they will not let them go with just a warning.
Petito then says Laundrie hit her, but then explains that she hit him first.
"The big question is was she trying to protect him during that police interaction by saying she had hit him or are they just in an abusive relationship?" says Jeff Reynolds, of the Family and Children's Assocation, which helps families in crisis.
The officers in the video debate what to do and then check with a supervisor.
"The reason why they don't give us discretion on these things is because too many times, women who are at risk want to go back to their abuser. They just wanted him to stop, and they don't want to have to be separated. They don't want him to be charged, and they don't want him to go to jail, and then they end up getting worse and worse treatment, and then they end up getting killed," the officer in the video is heard telling Petito.
"Obviously now the big question is, had they followed the process and procedure, whether it made sense at the time, would Gabby still be alive?" Reynolds asks.
As News 12 Long Island reported, the final police report listed the incident as "disorderly conduct" and Petito and Laundrie spent the night apart.
Petito went missing two weeks later.
Officials in the City of Moab said they will conduct a formal investigation into the Officers' response but added as of now that they are "unaware of any breach of department policy."