Judge Jeanine Pirro Slams Police, Says There Was 'Probable Cause' to Arrest Brian Laundrie

Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro hit out against Utah police, saying officers had "probable cause" to arrest Biran Laundrie after witnesses said he hit Gabby Petito.

On Saturday's edition of her eponymous show 'Justice with Judge Jeanine', Pirro slammed Moab officers over their August 12 handling of a traffic stop where both Laundrie, 23, and Petito, 22, were questioned after he was allegedly seen slapping his fiance.

Petito's body was later found in Grand Teton National Park, in Wyoming, a little over a month after the encounter was recorded by police. Her death was later ruled a homicide.

Pirro criticized an unnamed "former seasoned law enforcement officer" who said domestic violence laws were not made for "people going through your town, or county."

She added: "That was wrong. Domestic violence laws were made to protect domestic violence victims, wherever that crime occurs. Your address is irrelevant."

The former district attorney then cited the Utah Code, adding officers' "primary duty of care" when responding to a domestic violence call "to protect the victim."

Pirro continued to quote the Utah Code, adding: "If the peace officer has probable cause to believe there will be continued violence against the alleged victim, the officer shall arrest and take the perpetrator into custody, shall means must."

The Fox News host referred to bodycam footage of the traffic stop, adding: "Now, police officers are trained to look out for a victim who is crying, takes responsibility, is often afraid to speak up.

"Laundrie, Brian Laundrie, was seen by witnesses - who called 911 - hitting Gabby Petito repeatedly and the officers indicated he had her phone, he was preventing her from getting in the van."

Pirro continued: "An arrest should have been considered and there was probable cause to make it."

The City of Moab announced it would investigate how its police department responded to the domestic violence dispute between Laundrie and Petito.

Moab City Police Chief Bret Edge told Newsweek the force would comply with the investigation.

He added: "We look forward to the investigation. Should the investigation identify areas for improvement we will take that information to heart, learn from it, and make changes if needed to ensure we are providing the best response and service to our community."

Newsweek has contacted the Moab City Police Department for comment.

Officers and FBI agents are continuing to search for Laundrie, who has been missing from his home in North Port, Florida, since Tuesday, September 14.

An arrest warrant for Laundrie's arrest was issued after he allegedly "knowingly and with intent to defraud" and had between August 30 and September 1 "used one or more unauthorized access devices," including a debit card.

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Judge Jeanine Pirro of Fox News speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, on February 23, 2017. Pirro hit out against the Moab City Police Department officers. Mike Theiler/AFP/Getty Images