Mesa, Arizona, Police Officer Acquitted in Shooting Death of Hotel Guest

HeadlineDec 11, 2017

Officials in Mesa, Arizona, have released a police body cam video showing an unarmed Texas man holding his hands above his head and pleading for his life, moments before he was shot dead by an officer who had ordered him to crawl toward police. The video was released Thursday, just hours after a jury found former Mesa officer Philip Brailsford not guilty of murdering 26-year-old Daniel Shaver in a hotel hallway in 2016. Brailsford was also acquitted of a lesser charge of reckless manslaughter. A warning to listeners and viewers: This video is disturbing.

Officer: “You think you’re gonna fall, you’d better fall on your face. Your hands go back into the small of your back or down, we are going to shoot you. Do you understand me?”

Daniel Shaver: “Yes, sir.”

Officer: “Crawl toward me. Crawl towards me!”

Daniel Shaver: “Yes, sir.”

As the man pleads for his life, the officer shoots him. The man was on his knees. Two months after the shooting, the Mesa Police Department fired Brailsford for violating department policy, after they discovered he had etched the expletive “You’re f—d” into metal of the AR-15 assault rifle he used to kill Shaver. But the judge in Brailsford’s murder trial ruled that detail was immaterial, and didn’t allow it to be presented to the jury. Shaver’s widow and parents say they’ll now pursue wrongful death lawsuits against the city of Mesa and its police officers.

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