New Lebanon police shooting investigation now in hands of prosecutor’s office

NEW LEBANON — The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has handed its investigation into a December police shooting in New Lebanon over to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

New Lebanon Officer Steven Gingry was placed on paid administrative leave after he shot Jason Harlow, 42, during a traffic stop on Dec. 10 on Franklin Street.

The prosecutor’s office said it is still reviewing the contents of what Ohio BCI provided them.

>> BODY CAM: New Lebanon officer says he shot man twice from the back

Body camera footage obtained by News Center 7 in December showed Gingry shoot Harlow during the late-night traffic stop.

At the time of the stop, Harlow had a warrant out for his arrest for aggravated possession of drugs, according to court records.

In the body camera footage, after initially talking to the female driver and Harlow, Gingry returns to his cruiser for about four minutes. A man in the back seat of the car does not appear to say anything.

After returning to the car, the officer is heard asking the front seat male passenger to exit the vehicle and place his hands on the roof, so the officer can perform a patdown.

During the patdown, Gingry spots a gun around 12:37 a.m.

“Don’t you move. Don’t you move. I’ve got a gun,” Gingry says. “Dude, I will freaking shoot you if you move. You got me?”

Harlow asks Gingry, “Did I say anything?”

Gingry then asks for help from other officers.

“Don’t move I’ve got my gun in your back,” Gingry tells Harlow.

“That means what?” Harlow asked Gingry.

At 12:38 a.m. a scuffle is seen on the video and shots are fired at Harlow.

“Shots fired. One down,” Gingry says.

A review of Montgomery County court records shows Harlow has not been charged with any crimes connected to the December traffic stop and shooting, however he does have an extensive criminal history.

Harlow was convicted on theft charges, receiving stolen property, domestic violence and possession of cocaine dating back to 2006. He also has about 17 misdemeanor and traffic cases that have been filed in the county on him since 1996, online records show.

New Lebanon Police contacted the BCI to assist with the investigation into the shooting, which was in accordance with the departments “response to resistance policy,” according to an incident report.

A search warrant was issued during the investigation, however a copy of the search warrant and any details included with it were not releasable, according to an Ohio BCI spokesman.

After the shooting, New Lebanon Police Capt. James Chambers told an agent he reviewed Gingry’s personnel file.

“The personnel file is unremarkable, containing no discipline or excessive force issues,” a letter read.

News Center 7 reviewed Gingry’s personnel file this week after a public records request, which shows he received verbal counseling after using more than 15 seconds of shock on a suspect after a pursuit and crash in September 2017. During several other use of force investigations, Gingry was found to be in compliance with department policies

In 2012, Gingry was nominated by Chief Rickey Daulton as the employee of the year for the village.

A review of Gingry’s performance reviews since he started working at the department in 2007, showed his supervisors noted the consistent need for Gingry to “work on his control and stay calm.” He also was told “he needs to use reasonable judgment when deploying a weapon.”