A graphic video was released after a jury acquitted Officer Philip Brailsford of murder and manslaughter charges, showing the officer killing an unarmed Texas man who tearfully pleaded with police not to shoot him
The newly released body camera footage sparked outrage on social media and renewed calls for reforms in law enforcement. The video was shown in court, where former Mesa police Officer Philip “Mitch” Brailsford was on trial for second-degree murder in the shooting
On Jan. 18, 2016, Daniel Shaver, 26, was confronted by six officers in an Arizona hotel, where guests reported seeing a man with a gun in the window of a fifth-floor room.
Deputy District Attorney Susie Charbel said no reasonable, trained officer would shoot a person who was on his or her knees and crying. She said Brailsford, 26, “became a killer that night.”
“(Brailsford) doesn’t get a pass because he was wearing a police uniform that night,” Charbel said.
The video showed of Shaver, who was white, and a woman walking into a hallway as Brailsford, a two-year veteran of the Mesa Police Department who was wearing the body camera, pointed an AR-15 rifle at them.
An officer can be heard threatening to shoot if they do not get on the floor as Brailsford is ordering Shaver and the woman to the ground
“If you make a mistake, another mistake, there is a very severe possibility you’re both going to get shot,” an officer shouts at Shaver, “If you move, we are going to consider that a threat, and we are going to deal with it, and you may not survive it.”
“I’m sorry,” Shaver says at one point. “Please do not shoot me,” he says at another.
The officers issued contradictory commands, demanding that Shaver crawl toward them without moving his hands behind his back.
“Do not put your hands down for any reason,” he tells Shaver. “Your hands go back in the small of your back or down, we are going to shoot you, do you understand me?”
“Yes, sir,” a tearful Shaver responds, but the police open fire as the man stumbled and his hand moved toward his back. An investigation later found a pellet gun in the room Shaver occupied.
Brailsford ordered Shaver not to reach behind his back, but as he’s crawling along his baggy shorts apparently were creeping down and Shaver reached back.
Brailsford said he thought Shaver was reaching for a gun when he shot him.
Shaver was drunk but he apparently committed no crime.
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