Arizona officials have released graphic video that show the final moments of Daniel Shaver’s life where the unarmed man is seen on his knees sobbing and begging for his life before being killed by police
in January 2016.
The video was released Thursday by the Maricopa County Superior Couty after 27-year-old Philip Brailsford, a former officer with the Mesa Police Department, was acquitted of a murder charge in the fatal shooting of Shaver, a 26-year-old father of two from Grandbury, Tex.
Video footage, taken from Brailsford’s body camera, show police officers confronting Shaver and a woman outside of a hotel room after officers responded following a report of someone pointing a gun out a window.
The officers can be heard warning Shaver, who was intoxicated, and the woman that they will be shot if they don’t follow police orders.
“If you make a mistake, another mistake, there is a very severe possibility that you’re both going to get shot. Do you understand?” an officer yells. “I’m not here to be tactical and diplomatic with you. You listen. You obey.”
“Yes sir,” Shaver says.
Video shows the officers giving orders to the woman and Shaver to keep their hands in the air, before the woman is taken into custody out of view of the camera.
Shaver is then seen putting his hands behind his back and the officer yells, “hands up in the air!” and Shaver complies.
“You do that again we’re shooting you, do you understand?” the officer says.
“Please, do not shoot me,” Shaver is heard saying, his voice quivering.
“Then listen to my instructions!” the officer yells.
“I’m trying to just do what you say,” Shaver says.
“Don’t talk! Listen!” an officer says ordering Shaver to keep his hands up. “Do not put your hands down for any reason. 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?” the officer yells.
“Yes sir,” says Shaver, weeping.
The video shows Shaver crawling down the hallway at the officer’s command and as he inches forward he reaches toward his waistband leading Brailsford to open fire.
According to an internal report from the Mesa Police Department, Brailsford was carrying an AR-15 rifle
with the phrase “You’re F-cked” etched into the weapon.
The former police officer testified in court that he believed 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 during the trial. “I believed 100 percent that he was reaching for a gun.”
While no gun was found on Shaver’s body, two pellet rifles were found in the hotel room that Shaver used for his pest control job.
A jury found Brailsford not guilty of second degree murder as well as of a lesser charge of reckless manslaughter.
And while Former South Carolina officer Michael Slager was sentenced this week to 20 years in prison in connection with the shooting death of Walter Scott in 2015, research shows that it is very rare for police
officer to be convicted in a shooting.
Philip Stinson, an associate professor of criminal justice at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University, has found that since 2005, of the thousands of fatal police shootings across the U.S., just 84 officers have been charged with murder or manslaughter in connection with an on-duty shooting.