Social media platforms are still feeling the impact of a Maricopa County, Arizona’s decision to acquit former police officer Philip Brailsford Thursday on second-degree murder and reckless manslaughter charges after he shot unarmed Daniel Shaver five times during a 2016 encounter.
The Los Angeles Times and multiple other outlets publicly posted the extremely graphic video, which you can view here. Again, the video is extremely graphic and shows Shaver being shot multiple times.
Brailsford and other officers were called to a Mesa, Arizona hotel in January of 2016 in response to reports of a man pointing a firearm out a window. The officers arrived on the scene to find Shaver and a woman in the hallway.
One officer could be overheard yelling, “Hands in the air!” via Brailsford’s body camera. Other officers then commanded that Shaver and the woman crawl toward them. Shaver can be seen dropping his hands in apparent confusion over whether to raise his hands or use them to crawl.
“You do that again, we’re shooting you,” another officer yelled.
At the 3:54 mark of the video the officers scream a series of conflicting instructions at Shaver asking him to keep his legs crossed, keep his hands in front of him with his palms down, and rise to a kneeling position.
Shaver can be heard begging for his life with his hands up as the officers commanded him to crawl toward them. As Shaver was crawling toward officers, reaching backward, Brailsford is seen shooting him five times with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.
A few things here. The jury had full access to the entire video, and it was only publicly released after they acquitted Brailsford.
“Jurors in the Daniel Shaver case were not allowed to know that the police officer who shot him had scratched ‘you’re fucked’ into his service weapon,” reports The Atlantic. “But they did hear him testify about the encounter where he shot an unarmed man.”
“If this situation happened exactly as it did that time, I would have done the same thing,” Brailsford testified, according to the Arizona Republic.
Brailsford also reportedly testified that he believed Shaver was reaching for a gun. Shaver was unarmed. After killing Shaver, police went into his room and found two pellet guns, which he used for his job as a pest exterminator.
It is unknown if Brailsford was internally disciplined for killing Shaver. He was subsequently fired, but per the Los Angeles Times, the firing was “for violating department policy in an unrelated incident.”