Judge reacts to video of police response to domestic dispute before homicide investigation
We continue looking into the moments leading up to the murder of a Dayton woman and her six-year-old daughter.
We have just received body camera footage of officers responding to the home Aisha Nelson lived at with her boyfriend Waverly Hawes.
According to dispatch records, police responded to the home on Burleigh Avenue just after 1:30 a.m. on June 23. They spent about an hour at the house, but Dayton Police confirm the officers left the home and did not write a report, make any arrests, or remove anyone from the home.
Now, this body camera footage and the response by the officers is under internal investigation.
Dayton Police Officers Terrell Moore and Kathryn Santos responded to the domestic disturbance call on Burleigh Avenue after Hawes called police saying he wants his girlfriend, Nelson, removed from the home.
Nelson had also called dispatch three times in the hours before, trying to make a police report. When officers get there, Nelson tells them Hawes had threatened her life.
"Last night he had the gun in his hand and he came back upstairs like we just started arguing and he was like if you don't get the (expletive) out of here, I'll get my sisters and everybody to beat you up and I was like you're not going to do nothing and he was like matter of fact, get out, and I was like you can't kick me out I pay rent here so he was like you're really willing to lose your life over a gun," Nelson told police.
She also shares audio of a fight she had with Hawes. Nelson says he is holding a gun during the argument. You can hear a male voice asking Nelson to leave, he is saying 'you're not tough, you don't want the alternative, I promise that."
"You think you're tough cause you got a gun," you can hear Nelson reply.
Nelson tells police she could not leave because he had cut off her credit cards, and she did not have friends or family to stay with because she is from New Jersey. She also told officers she did not want a temporary protection order against him.
Another officer speaks with Hawes, he says Nelson was breaking items in the house.
"She's just got to get out of here cause I don't want no drama, I ain't doing all that arguing and then we're doing this in front of our kids," Hawes said.
After they speak with both parties, the officers talk amongst themselves outside. They are trying to decide how to proceed.
"She's saying she believes it's a genuine threat but why, if that's the case, why are you still here, why are you putting yourself in this situation," Officer Santos said.
Officers check to make sure neither Hawes nor Nelson have warrants, they return to the house, tell Nelson about local resources and places to stay, then they leave.
Dayton police say Hawes shot and killed Nelson and her 6-year-old daughter, Harper Monroe, right after 3:00 morning.
They say Hawes was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Alabama.
Dayton 24/7 Now's Chelsea Sick sat down with UD law professor and acting judge Tom Hagel and watched the body camera video together.
"What is just your initial reaction," Sick asked.
"I could see how she could come to the conclusion that she was being threatened," Hagel said.
He says a threat is just one form of domestic violence.
"Could they have arrested him just based off of what she was saying," Sick asked.
"If they believed what she was saying I think they could have arrested him because they just have to have a reasonable belief that he in this instance threatened her with serious bodily harm or death," Hagel said.
He says the officers made a game time judgement call, which is in their power to do; but he says a police report should have been filed.
"Yeah I'm surprised a report wasn't filed under this set of circumstances especially since there is statement from the woman that a gun is involved," Hagel said.
Dayton Police say while those two officers are not on administrative leave, they have launched an internal investigation into why a report was not filed.
A city official says Dayton Police cannot make further comment because the internal review is underway.