Cop Pulls Car Next to Building So Mother Can’t Escape, Kills Her During Unauthorized ‘Prostitution Sting’

in news •  2 months ago

 Columbus, OH — Late last month, 23-year old Donna Castleberry Dalton,  a mother of two, was shot and killed by Officer Andrew Mitchell of the  Columbus Police Department. Since that fateful day, controversy has  surrounded the case. 

According to police, Dalton recently failed to appear in court for a  misdemeanor solicitation charge, and the judge issued a warrant for her  arrest. Mitchell claims that he was attempting to take her into custody on  this warrant, but instead of just checking in with family and friends or  waiting for her to come through the system again as police often do  with misdemeanor cases, Mitchell set up an elaborate sting operation.  

This alleged sting operation was totally unauthorized, and he was not  even working her case. He was also was supposed to be on a different  call blocks away when the incident happened. Mary Laile, Dalton’s cousin, says that the homicide detective on the case told her directly that everything Mitchell did was completely against protocol. 

“He  was not sent out to pick her up. A uniformed cop would have done that.  He picked her up (assuming he was posed as a John) and drove her 2  blocks from all other officers. Protocol for these type of sting  operations is to have a backup that is in the area of where you plan to  make the arrest. For whatever reason, he didn’t have his back up, or  left them,” Lailie told The Free Thought Project.  

Mitchell posed as a potential customer and made contact with Dalton  under the pretense of requesting her services as a sex worker. At some  point, Mitchell got Dalton into his unmarked car, and according to  police, he then attempted to “make an arrest.” 

However, friends and  family of the victim believe that he was trying to sexually assault her,  and the evidence overwhelmingly supports these allegations. Mitchell was undercover, and by all accounts, he had not properly  identified himself to Dalton, so she had no way of knowing that he was a  cop. 

He also took her to a secluded location, where he parked with the passenger side of the car against a wall to block her from exiting the vehicle.  

 Police will not reveal many details about the incident, aside from  the fact that a scuffle broke out between the two when Dalton attempted  to escape from the unmarked car, in which Dalton pulled out a knife and  stabbed Mitchell in the hand so she could get away. Next, Mitchell fired eight shots at the young woman, which he claims were in self-defense. 

All evidence in the case points to the fact that this officer clearly  had something to hide. Overhead photos taken of the crime scene show  that Mitchell intentionally drove up to the side of a building  strategically placing his car against a brick wall so it was impossible  for Dalton to get out. If  Mitchell was just attempting to make a lawful arrest, why would he  transport Dalton to a secluded location, without handcuffs, and attempt  to block her into a car? It seems that a possible cover-up happened in the aftermath of the  murder as well.

 Laile told The Free Thought Project that police  attempted to hide audio evidence from the family, by claiming that it  didn’t exist. However, they were told by an investigator that there was,  in fact, a tape being withheld by the department. 

“There  is audio of the incident that my family was told did not exist for the  week following her death. Someone with CPD leaked the information that  there is audio and it should not have been leaked,” Laile said.

 “There is a surveillance camera directly above where the car was parked. The landlord did not cooperate  the day of the incident, so the police got a search warrant and took  the system and recording. The next night, the landlord tried to sell the  video, but then realized it was not there. The video is currently with  the crime lab,” she added.  

The case became even more suspicious this week when it was reported  that Mitchell was actually the target of a criminal investigation at the  time of the murder. Police say that the investigation was so fresh that  Mitchell probably didn’t even know that he was being investigated, but  Dalton’s family says that he should not have been on the streets  interacting with the public if he is suspected of being involved with  any type of criminal investigation. 

“If he was being investigated for a complaint, and it’s a criminal investigation, why was he even allowed on the street?” Lailie said. 

Mitchell has taken a special interest in sex work cases and has  already made 80 prostitution-related arrests so far this year, according  to police records in a county court database. Now, in the wake of the shooting,

 The Columbus Police Department’s  Vice Unit is under review and has been ordered to halt most of their  operations until the review is complete. 

“The fact that we have a new commander there. The fact that we’ve  had some high-profile incidents that could involve from either the same  officers or the same section have all played into adding to the urgency  in which we need to look at their operations,” Police Chief Kim Jacobs explained at a press conference this week. 

Sadly, it is quite common for police to commit acts of violence and sexual assault against sex workers. As The Free Thought Project  has reported in the past, sex workers are more likely to have their  sexual consent violated by police than by anyone else they encounter.  

One study  that surveyed sex workers in New York City found that at least 14%  experienced sexual violence from police. 

An even more shocking statistic  is that 64.1% of trans sex workers have reported sexual abuse from law enforcement officers. As long as we need to work to survive, sex work is going to be a  profession that some people choose to get involved in. 

It is often said  that prostitution is one of the oldest professions in history, which  means that it is not something that is possible to eradicate through  legislation. Legislation attempting to control this type of activity  does nothing but make it more dangerous as we see in the case of Donna  Castleberry Dalton. If sex work was legal, Dalton and countless others  would still be alive today. 

“The  only thing on Donna’s record was the solicitation charge at the end of  July. Absolutely nothing else. She was not a career criminal or  fugitive,” Lailie said.

The family is currently asking for help with Donna’s final expenses on GoFundMe

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I hope justice is served and this is not simply covered up like we have seen in the past

Sounds like he was using his position to take advantage if her and she ended up dead for defending herself. This was attempted rape and murder and had nothing to do with enforcing the law.

Police officers don't normally murder prositutes in cold blood. It has nothing to do with the laws. Saying it does is like saying that we can't eradicate murder since people have been doing it forever so we shouldn't have laws against it.

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its the laws that allow these situations to happen, the laws create an environment that is much more dangerous for sex workers, and it justifies violent acts that police take against them

you are in favor of the criminalization of sex work?

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another day in dystopia

thanks for keeping up and reporting, I am following you

howdy there johnvibes..man this stinks to high heaven and this officer better lose his badge and more, anyone could see what he is about.

Parasitic predators parading a 'police'. We need to get something like the Hare Psychopathy Checklist to disqualify psychopaths from holding any sort of public office. The damage to society as a whole from sexual predation, like this clearly was, is irreversible. We need safeguards in place to prevent it and all other forms of social/economic parasitism and predation.