Video released of fatal federal courtroom shooting in Salt Lake City

Elias Hubbard
March 13, 2018

A USA judge has released terrifying footage of a gang member, who was in court over racketeering charges, attacking a shackled witness with a pen before being shot dead by security officials four times at close range.

The footage shows the moment the defendant, Siale Angilau, a member of the Tongan Crips gang, getting up out of his seat, grabbing a pen, and running towards the witness stand before launching at him.

An unidentified person yells "Whoa, whoa, whoa", as the witness, who was in the process of testifying, manages to move out of Angilau's way.

The video is muzzed to keep the judge, officers and any witnesses in the courtroom from being identified.

"Having carefully reviewed the video of Mr Angilau's swift flight from counsel table, his vault over the witness stand with pen in hand, and his attempt to violently attack the shackled witness, the court has little difficulty determining that (Jane) Doe's use of force to immediately stop Angilau's attack was objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstances", Dowdell wrote.

A video recording of the 2014 Utah police shooting of an alleged gang leader Siale Angilau (25) was publicly released today following a decision by a United States District Judge John E. Dowdell on 9 March.

'His attack was stopped by the shots that Jane Doe rapidly fired, in less than one and one-half seconds'.

The unidentified USA marshal who shot Angilau was cleared of any wrongdoing shortly after the shooting.

She said the Federal Bureau of Investigation cleared the officer of any wrongdoing and that a review board found the use of force was within agency policy.

He said the video shows that the marshal "panicked" and should have used other methods to subdue Angilau. He said the witness got out of the way and wasn't in danger by the time the shots were fired.

'Those last three shots were all after he's been shot once down on the ground in the back, and that's the problem I have with this case, ' he told the News.

'There was no necessity to use force'.

They have not yet decided if they will appeal the judge's dismissal of their lawsuit. The family had been allowed to view the video, but not to release it. A wrongful death lawsuit by Angilau's family was dismissed on the same day. Dowdell also ordered the release of the courtroom video, which had been the subject of a lengthy court battle involving media outlets, including Fox 13, over freedom of information and the First Amendment.

"We applaud Magistrate Judge Paul Cleary's decision in November finding the courtroom security video to be a matter of public record, and U.S. District Judge John Dowdell's order on Friday upholding that ruling", McKenzie Romero, the president of Utah Headliners and a Deseret News reporter, said in a statement.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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