SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

Bodycam video released after jury acquits ex-cop of murder

New body camera footage captures the tense moments before an Arizona police officer shot an unarmed man dead last yea...

Posted: Dec 11, 2017 1:50 PM
Updated: Dec 11, 2017 1:50 PM

New body camera footage captures the tense moments before an Arizona police officer shot an unarmed man dead last year, as the man begged officers not to fire.

Police in Mesa, Arizona released the footage last week, after a jury acquitted former Mesa officer Philip "Mitch" Brailsford of second-degree murder and reckless manslaughter charges related to the January 2016 shooting of Daniel Shaver, of Texas.

Former Mesa, Arizona officer Philip "Mitch" Brailsford was found not guilty of second-degree murder and reckless manslaughter

'That's an execution pure and simple,' an attorney for the victim's widow says of the January 2016 shooting

Brailsford shot Shaver after police responded to a call saying a man was pointing a rifle out of the window of a La Quinta Inn. The former officer testified he believed Shaver was reaching for a gun in his waistband as he moved toward officers, CNN affiliate KTRK/KPHO reported. No weapon was found.

An attorney for Shaver's widow said the footage shows the shooting was unjustified, while Brailsford's lawyer said his client's actions were consistent with his police training.

"That's an execution, pure and simple. The Justice system miserably failed Daniel and his family," Mark Geragos, the attorney for Shaver's widow, Laney Sweet, said in a statement.

In an interview last week with CNN, Brailsford's attorney, Mike Piccarreta, said jurors heard six weeks of testimony and watched the body camera footage several times before acquitting the former officer.

"While it's a compete tragedy, he's comforted by the fact that his response was in view with the way he was trained," Piccarreta said.

The graphic footage prompted anger on social media.

Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson tweeted: "I keep thinking about how effortlessly that police officer killed #DanielShaver in that hotel hallway. And how the officer was acquitted. The only person to fear in that entire situation was the officer himself."

"God bless #DanielShaver," director and producer Ava DuVernay tweeted.

'Please, don't shoot me'

When police arrived at La Quinta, they ordered Shaver and a woman to come out of a room on the fifth floor, KTRK/KPHO reported.

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.

"Hands up in the air," an officer says.

Shaver puts his hands on the floor, then behind his back, then moves them forward again before an officer yells "Hands up in the air!" Shaver moves his hands up above his head.

"You do that again, we're shooting you, do you understand?" the officer said.

"Please, do not shoot me," Shaver said.

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

"I'm trying to just do what you say," Shaver said.

"Do not put your hands down for any reason!" the officer later says to Shaver. "You think you're going to fall, you better fall on your face. Your hands go back in the small of your back or down, we are going to shoot you! Do you understand me?"

"Yes, sir," Shaver says, sobbing.

An officer then orders Shaver to crawl toward him. As Shaver crawls, he appears to reach behind him with his right hand.

That's when Brailsford fired five rounds, killing him.

After the shooting, several witnesses and hotel employees told police Shaver was drunk. An autopsy revealed Shaver's blood alcohol level was .29, more than three times the local definition of intoxication, KTRK/KPHO reported.

Witnesses later told police Shaver was showing them an air rifle he had used in his job as a pest exterminator.

Brailsford, who worked as a Mesa officer for two years, was fired last March for violations of departmental policy, including unsatisfactory performance, KTRK/KPHO reported.

During the trial, Brailsford told jurors he was trained to deal with a threat.

"I was doing what I needed to do to protect my fellow men and the woman we had just taken into custody," Brailsford testified, according to CNN affiliate KTRK/KPHO.

Brailsford testified Shaver disobeyed orders not to put his hands behind him on several occasions, the station reported.

"For some reason, he placed his hands behind his back," Brailsford said. "For one, I don't know why he did that."

The AR-15 that Brailsford used in the shooting had an expletive etched into it, according to Ben Meiselas, an attorney with Geragos' firm. But the judge did not allow the AR-15 into evidence because he ruled it "too prejudicial" and "not sufficiently relevant," he told CNN.

The grand jury handed down the verdict on the same day a federal judge sentenced Michael Slager, a white former North Charleston, South Carolina police officer, to 20 years in prison for fatally shooting Walter Scott, a 50-year-old unarmed black man, in the back as Scott ran away.

Scott's death, one of several recent killings of unarmed black men by police, was captured in a bystander's cell phone video.

Lafayette
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 26°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 19°
Rensselaer
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 23°
Lafayette
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 26°
Danville
Clear
25° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Frankfort
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 17°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 17°
Monticello
Clear
21° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 21°
Monticello
Clear
21° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 21°
Logansport
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 27°
Dry, mild conditions continue.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 665285

Reported Deaths: 12697
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion910581653
Lake48637887
Allen36050641
Hamilton32231398
St. Joseph30243514
Elkhart25484420
Vanderburgh21315382
Tippecanoe20185205
Johnson16425361
Porter16053276
Hendricks15899301
Clark12032182
Madison11779321
Vigo11672231
Monroe10394164
Delaware9879179
LaPorte9821198
Howard9095199
Kosciusko8588111
Bartholomew7504147
Warrick7445153
Hancock7439134
Floyd7255172
Wayne6654192
Grant6453157
Boone611991
Morgan6118126
Dubois5933112
Dearborn550669
Cass5477100
Marshall5446105
Henry542695
Noble510978
Jackson465567
Shelby462591
Lawrence4193113
Gibson404985
Harrison402764
Clinton397053
Montgomery390584
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350638
Huntington348377
Steuben339855
Wabash333076
Putnam331960
Ripley327862
Adams325149
Jasper318443
White298052
Jefferson295974
Daviess285696
Fayette272656
Decatur271388
Greene262280
Posey261432
Wells258975
Scott251450
LaGrange242170
Clay241444
Randolph225877
Spencer219330
Jennings216344
Washington213027
Sullivan203639
Fountain202542
Starke189251
Owen183453
Fulton179637
Jay178528
Carroll176919
Perry173836
Orange171351
Rush165422
Vermillion161542
Franklin159735
Tipton149241
Parke140116
Pike128433
Blackford120627
Pulaski107544
Newton96732
Brown95240
Benton92413
Crawford92113
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54111
Unassigned0434

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events