Bodycam footage shows acquitted police officer shooting unarmed man dead

Lawrence Kim
December 11, 2017

A newly released video depicts a January 2016 incident in which a police officer shoots an unarmed man after another officer berates and intimidates him.

Social media platforms are still feeling the impact of a Maricopa County, Arizona's decision to acquit former police officer Philip Brailsford Thursday on second-degree murder and reckless manslaughter charges after he shot unarmed Daniel Shaver five times during a 2016 encounter.

According to AZFamily.com, in January of 2016, police were called to a La Quinta Inn in Mesa because someone reported a man pointing a gun out his window.

While on the floor and surrounded by police officers, Shaver begged for his life as he reached down toward his waistband to pull his trousers up. No weapon was found.

The footage, taken from Mr Brailsford's point of view, shows the shooting and the tense moments leading up to it.

"That's an execution, pure and simple".

"The justice system miserably failed Daniel (Shaver) and his family", said Mark Geragos, an attorney for Shaver's widow, according to the Arizona Republic.

In trial, Brailsford said, "If this situation happened exactly as it did that time, I would have done the same thing".

However, the case of former Mesa, Arizona police officer Philip Brailsford is different.

The body camera footage shows Shaver on his knees in the hotel hallway, a few feet away from the barrel of a police officer's gun. "Do you understand?" an officer yells before telling Shaver to "shut up".

One officer could be overheard yelling, "Hands in the air!" via Brailsford's body camera. Shaver remains on the ground in the hallway, his hands on his head. The acquittal came the same day that a judge in SC sentenced Michael T. Slager, a white police officer, to 20 years in prison for the 2015 shooting of an unarmed black motorist, Walter L. Scott.

"Please do not shoot me!"

"Then listen to my instructions", the officer said.

"I'm sorry", Shaver says, placing his hands near his waist, prompting another round of screaming.

"I saw the individual doing everything he could to comply with what the officer was asking", he said. "You think you're going to fall, you better fall on your face".

Brailsford commands Shaver to crawl towards him, warning him that if his "hands go back in the small of your back or down, we are going to shoot you". "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, do you understand me?"

"Yes sir", Shaver says, sobbing. Shaver appeared to be complying with his orders, and can be heard sobbing as he crawls towards Brailsford and Langley. As he inched forward, he reached toward the waistband of his shorts, leading Brailsford to open fire.

The killing of Shaver differs from these killings in one significant way: race was not likely a factor.

After the shooting, several witnesses and hotel employees told police Shaver was drunk. Again, the video is extremely graphic and shows Shaver being shot multiple times. Prosecutors said Shaver, a married father of two, used the pellet rifles as part of his job as a pest-control worker.

Brailsford served as a Mesa officer for about two years before he was sacked for violating department policy in 2016 after the shooting.

During his trial testimony, Brailsford described the stress that he faced in responding to the call and his split-second decision to shoot Shaver.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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