An officer who had questioned Gabby Petito and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie weeks before her death is being accused by the Petito family of domestic violence, saying that he was “fundamentally biased” against her when he assessed her danger level during a traffic stop.

Eric Pratt, one of the officers who had interacted with Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie in a traffic stop in Utah two weeks before Petito was killed by Laundrie, is being accused by a woman he was in a previous relationship with of being abusive, according to Fox News.

“He has no business being a f---ing cop,” the woman said.

The woman, who has kept her identity secret due to safety fears, had an affair with Pratt in 2017, and he reportedly threatened to beat her with a crowbar if she ever told anyone about their affair. She reportedly contacted the Petito family with this information after finding out that Pratt was promoted to become a detective.

The woman said that after the “emotional relationship” she had with Pratt, that she had feared for her life until they met at a Denny’s restaurant a year later, where they had a long talk and she felt like she didn’t need to be “looking over [her] shoulder” anymore for him.

The Petito family has come forward with the new information, claiming that this made Pratt “fundamentally biased” during the traffic stop that he did with Petito and Laundrie where they separated the couple for the night instead of filing a domestic violence charge against Laundrie, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“If the officer responding to Gabby’s situation is an abuser himself who would threaten a girlfriend’s life, it makes sense why he believed Gabby’s abuser and ignored her injuries,” Nichole Schmidt, Petito’s mother, said. “With him in charge, I don’t think Gabby stood a chance.”

“We feel like we need to bring justice because she could have been protected that day,” Schmidt continued. “There are laws to protect victims and those weren’t followed.”

Moab City Police has refused to place blame on the officers regarding Petito’s death, saying that the circumstances at the time were too unpredictable for them to know anything regarding the situation.

“It is clear that Moab City Police Department officers are not responsible for Gabrielle Petito’s eventual murder,” they said. “Our officers acted with kindness, respect and empathy toward Ms. Petito.”

Gabby Petito Traffic Stop Utah Rep. Pic
One of the officers who was involved in a traffic stop with Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie is being accused of domestic violence related to an affair he had with a woman in 2017. This is a representational image. ev/Unsplash.

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