Skip to comments.WATCH: Mesa Police Officer Found Not Guilty of Murder in Shooting of Unarmed Man
Posted on 12/10/2017 10:03:51 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum
A Maricopa County jury on Thursday found former Mesa police Officer Philip Mitch Brailsford not guilty of second-degree murder charges in the 2016 shooting of an unarmed Texas man who was on his knees begging for his life.
Jurors deliberated for less than six hours over two days, finishing Thursday afternoon. The eight-member jury also found Brailsford not guilty of the lesser charge of reckless manslaughter.
The packed courtroom in Maricopa County Superior Court was quiet after one of Judge George Fosters clerks read the verdict.
Brailsford was one of two officers in Arizona since 2005 who had been charged with murder in connection with an on-duty shooting.
The case ends during a time when on-duty police shootings have received heightened scrutiny. Some shootings, particularly those recorded on video, have prompted protests throughout the U.S.
Mesa police have released footage from Officer Philip Mitch Brailsfords body camera of the fatal shooting of an unarmed Texas man at a hotel in 2016. This edited video shows the moments leading up Daniel Shavers death. Mesa Police Department
Brailsfords acquittal came after impassioned closing arguments that offered contrasting narratives of why Brailsford shot and killed 26-year-old Daniel Shaver in a hotel hallway two years ago.
Shaver was kneeling, crying and begging not to be shot after he was confronted by six Mesa police officers in a La Quinta Inn & Suites hallway Jan. 18, 2016. Brailsford, who was fired two months after the shooting, testified that he fired his AR-15 rifle five times because it appeared Shaver was reaching for a gun.
If this situation happened exactly as it did that time, I would have done the same thing, Brailsford said in his testimony.
Laney Sweet, Shavers widow, said she had no comment to make about the verdict as, crying, she exited an elevator with family.
Mark Geragos, Sweets lawyer, called the shooting an execution.
The justice system miserably failed Daniel (Shaver) and his family, Geragos said.
Brailsfords lawyer, Michael Piccarreta, said he had expected the jury would come back with a positive outcome for his client.
We had confidence that the jury would recognize this as a tragedy, not a murder, and that Mitch Brailsford acted in a split-second as he was trained, he said.
After the verdict, Brailsford and his family were escorted by a Maricopa County sheriffs deputy out of the courtroom through a back door.
Footage of shooting, captured on two police on-body cameras, formed the foundation of the prosecutions case. The judge did not allow jurors to hear about an etching on the dust cover of the rifle Brailsford used to shoot Shaver, which said Youre fked, because he felt it was prejudicial.
Throughout the trial, which began in late October, Deputy County Attorney Susie Charbel portrayed Brailsford as a killer who claimed he feared for his life to cover up an unjustified shooting.
In her closing arguments, Charbel told the jury that an intoxicated Shaver looked pathetic before he was killed and didnt get a chance to know who shot him.
(Brailsford) doesnt get a pass because he was wearing a police uniform that night, Charbel said.
Piccarreta said Brailsford followed the tactics of a well-trained officer. If jurors believe the training is wrong, he said, thats not something Brailsford should be accountable for.
Piccarreta said Brailsford shot Shaver because he was protecting himself, five other officers and a woman police had taken into custody.
The last thing in the world that Mitch Brailsford wanted to do that night was shoot. His goal wasnt to kill Daniel Shaver, Piccarreta told the jury. Shaver is not a bad person, but his actions are what brought the police that night.
YouTube Video: Execution of Daniel Shaver
Doesn't matter if anybody else did.
Bang bang bang. Stop or I will shoot.
Actually, Arizona is one of the few states where any citizen 21 or older can carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
Shaver did nothing wrong.
No wonder they lost...””””Mark Geragos, Sweets lawyer, called the shooting an execution.
Anyone who expects a cop to be convicted of a criminal act no matter how blatant the evidence of wrongdoing is going to be disappointed. They’re “good shoots” 99.999% of the time no matter what.
“YouTube Video: Execution of Daniel Shaver”
seems titler of this video has passed judgement on what happen in that instant.
Just trying to ensure I got this right. I can now defend my use of a firearm by citing normal ‘training tactics’, and if the training was wrong, it’s not my fault? Hot dang, free fire zone for everyone!
Oh, wait, this only works if you’re a government employee. I’m just curious, what ever happened to the concept of all being equal before the law?
I saw the video and I am not impressed with the way Brailsford reacted. Way too trigger happy. This absolutely did not have to happen. A more experienced officer would never have fired those shots. And I say that as someone who is retired military and retired LE.
Did you watch the part where the execution occurs?
Anyone heard the status of the ROP cop who shot the woman reporting a rape in Minnesota.
“seems titler of this video has passed judgement on what happen in that instant.”
Did you actually watch the execution?
Sure seems like a murder. Cop should have been found guilty.
Brailsford was an aspiring actor who never spent a minute in the military.
There are soldiers serving time in Leavenworth for doing exactly to armed Al Qaeda combatants what Brailsford did to an unarmed American citizen.
Horrifying. But you can clearly see the suspect reach back with his right hand after being very definitively being told not to do exactly that.
I don’t know what the call was thet brought the cops there in the first place that put them so on edge.
It’s getting so that even when cops are on video executing someone they still get off scott free.
I’m surprised the cop in SC was found guilty of executing an unarmed man by shooting him in the back while he ran away then threw a gun down and claimed it belonged to the victim.
In this case there were 5 other cops present. Not one of them has leadership qualities. Otherwise they would have told this tattooed punk to “go wait in the car”. The tattooed punk being the killer cop.
“””””””””Anyone heard the status of the ROP cop who shot the woman reporting a rape in Minnesota.””””””””””
I live here and I can assure you this has disappeared. A muslim cop shot a white woman who was unarmed and simply reporting a crime. It is obviously her fault for being white.
If a cop shoots a thug here it is constantly on the news and the brothas are always having demonstrations and blocking traffic.
Somebody saw him handling a gun through his hotel room window, in a state where concealed carry is legal for anyone over 21.
Why did they have to make him crawl 50 feet in the first place?
Just have him lie face down with his hands behind his back and cuff him.
Maybe he watched the video Before choosing a title...which seems to be correct.
The shooting occurred after police were called to a Mesa La Quinta Inn & Suites on a report of a person pointing a gun out a fifth-floor window. A couple in a hotel hot tub told staff they saw a silhouette with a gun pointed toward a nearby highway.
. . . .
Police later learned Shaver had been showing his pellet gun to Monique Portillo and Luis Nuñez, two hotel guests Shaver had met earlier that night. Both testified Shaver had been playing with the pellet gun near his hotel room window.
Shaver turned out to be unarmed when he was shot, but police did find the pellet gun inside the room.
One police officer who didnt shoot because he did not perceive an imminent threat said as much in the trial:
Mesa Police officer Brian Elmore testified Tuesday in a former colleagues murder trial that he didnt shoot at an unarmed Texas man because he didnt see an imminent threat.
. . . .
At a time when active shooters situations have become more common, such tragedies were in Elmores mind when he responded to the call, the officer testified.
I did think about some high-profile situations going on around the country, he told the jury.
And in a devastating answer for the prosecution, he said he might have fired had he been in Brailsfords position:
Still, he said, he didnt shoot because he didnt see the same threat as Brailsford, who was standing on the left side of Shaver several feet away when officers encountered him.
Piccarreta asked Elmore if he had been standing where Brailsford was standing, would he have shot Shaver.
Its possible, Elmore responded.
In summary, the tactics here were terrible. The instructions were absurd and confusing. The sergeant who barked out the instructions probably created the atmosphere that made the tragedy possible.
But Shaver should never, ever have reached for his waistband. That action probably caused a genuine fear on the part of the police officer who shot him. Might a jury find that fear, and his actions in response, reasonable? Apparently they did. Was that verdict necessarily irrational? I cant say for sure that it was.
One final thought: thank God Shaver was white, huh? Had he been black, there would be marches and riots. People might die as a result. If this is truly the worst police shooting people have ever seen, lets remember that it happened to a white guy, and not assume that every police shooting is motivated by race.
UPDATE: Corrected the post to note that the youre f*cked phrase was etched into the dust cover of the rifle, not carved as I had read. It appears to be an after-market product, not something done by the officer.
Excerpted from: The Shooting of Daniel Shaver: A Law Enforcement Perspective. Link: https://www.redstate.com/patterico/2017/12/09/shooting-daniel-shaver-law-enforcement-perspective/
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