The horrifying video of the death of Daniel Shaver, 26, shows a man crying and begging for his life before being shot and killed by Mesa police officer Philip Brailsford, 27.
The January, 2016 shooting occurred at a Mesa La Quinta Inn & Suites Hotel where officers were responding to reports of a gun pointing out of a window. On December 8, 2017, Brailsford, who no longer works for the Mesa Police Department, was acquitted of murdering Shaver.
Brailsford was fired from the department in March, 2016 after the execution-style killing. Among the reasons for his firing were several policy violations, including engraving the words “You’re F**ked” into his rifle dust cover.
It turns out that this tragic occurrence was not the only use of excessive force during Brailsford’s short but deadly law enforcement career. Another video has surfaced, showing Brailsford’s manhandling of teenagers in a convenience store a year before killing Shaver.
Convenience Store Clerk’s Video
Jonathan Bratton, the convenience store/gas station clerk who recorded the video, said the three teenagers involved in the incident were not doing anything wrong when Brailsford became violent. Bratton’s video shows Brailsford throwing a teen against a shelf, then putting him in a headlock and knocking him to the floor.
Bratton later told a local newspaper that he was “absolutely terrified,” because the teens weren’t doing anything when Brailsford went off on them. While the incident was reported to the Mesa Police Department, Brailsford received administrative clearance.
The Death of Daniel Shaver
Shaver was a married father of two from Granbury, Texas who worked in pest control.
He had been showing his pellet gun to friends in his hotel room. He used the pellet gun to down birds flying in a grocery store. In the video recorded by body camera, Shaver leaves the hotel room - without the pellet gun – when cops appear. They yell at him to get down on the floor.
Brailsford points his gun at Shaver, who is on the floor with his hands in the air, crying and begging for Brailsford not to shoot him. Brailsford then tells Shaver to lay face-down and not make sudden movements. A female friend of Shaver’s is also told to lay face-down.
Shaver complies with Brailsford’s orders. "Young man, you are not to move. You are to put your eyes down look down at the carpet, you are to keep your fingers interlaced behind your head, you are to keep your feet crossed," Brailsford says on the video. "If you move, we are going to consider that a threat, and we are going to deal with it and you may not survive it, do you understand me?"
"Yes sir," Shaver says.
The woman is then instructed to kneel, put her hands up and crawl toward the police. She complies, and is apparently handcuffed beyond the camera’s range.
Brailsford then commands Shaver to kneel and keep his legs crossed. Shaver says he is sorry. When Shaver puts his hands behind his back, Brailsford yells at him to keep his hands in the air. “You do that again we're shooting you, do you understand?" the officer says. "Please, do not shoot me," Shaver says, with his hands in the air.
"Then listen to my instructions!" the officer shouts. "I'm trying to just do what you say," Shaver replies. Brailsford tells Shaver to crawl toward him, which Shaver does. While crawling, Shaver starts reaching into the waistband of his shorts, and Brailsford immediately opens fire with his AR-15, killing Shaver with five shots.
Shaver did not have a gun in his waistband. A detective investigating the shooting said it looked like Shaver’s shorts were falling down and he wanted to pull them up.
Wrongful Death Suits Filed
Nothing will bring Daniel Shaver back to his wife, children and family. His wife and parents have filed wrongful death suits over the shooting against the City of Mesa.
No matter how much money his family eventually receives, there was no reason for Daniel Shaver to die in that hotel hallway.
Brailsford barks contradictory orders at him, and tells him he’ll shoot if Shaver makes a mistake. What the Hell kind of police training is that?
Shaver is not behaving in an aggressive manner – he’s crying and helpless. Brailsford’s acquittal proves that cops can get away with even the most egregious types of police violence. Many martyrs to police violence are black or brown, but not Shaver. He was a white guy killed by a white cop.
In this case, there’s no bias involved, other than that of a cop who thought he could get away with playing executioner. He was right – he did get away with it.
You can fight back if you or a loved one is an excessive force by police victim. Our lawyers focus on civil rights and wrongful death lawsuits against police, governments, jails and prisons. 866.836.4684 or CONNECT ONLINE