1121 GMT October 19, 2018
The video clip clearly demonstrates the victim, 26-year-old Daniel Shaver, trying desperately to follow police directions after being ordered to get on the ground along with his wife amid officers shouting contradictory directions and threatening to shoot him if he does not follow orders, presstv.com reported.
“This, to me, is the most horrific shooting I’ve ever seen,” said Mark Geragos, a lawyer for the widow and the 5-8 year-old daughters of Shaver in an interview with The New York Times on Saturday.
Geragos, who said he had watched thousands of body camera videos, further insisted that the footage was evidence of ‘the criminal justice system at its worst.’
Six police officers were called to a La Quinta Inn and Suites in Mesa, Arizona, on January 18, 2016, after guests reported seeing a man with a gun in the window of a fifth-floor room.
The video clip showed Shaver and a woman walking into a hallway as Officer Philip Brailsford of the Mesa Police Department, who was wearing the body camera, trained an AR-15 rifle on them.
Another officer can be heard ordering them to get on the floor and threatening to shoot if they do not comply.
“If you make a mistake, another mistake, there is a very severe possibility you’re both going to get shot,” the officer said in the video. He shouts at Shaver, “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.”
‘I’m sorry,’ Shaver stated at one point. ‘Please do not shoot me,’ he later pleaded.
This is while the officer’s commands at times seemed contradictory.
“Do not put your hands down for any reason,” he tells Shaver. “Your hands go back in the small of your back or down, we are going to shoot you; do you understand me?”
‘Yes, sir,’ a tearful Shaver responded.
But immediately afterwards, the officer commands, ‘Crawl towards me,’ prompting Shaver to lower his hands to the floor and begin moving toward the camera.
A few seconds after beginning to crawl, Shaver twists slightly to his right, his elbow pointing upward. As someone shouts, “Don’t!” Officer Brailsford begins firing.
Police later learned that Shaver — of Granbury, Texas — had been in his room showing off a pellet gun, which he used for his job in pest control, before being summoned by officers into the hallway.
Officer Brails ford was fired two months after the shooting.
In the court, the jury deliberated for less than six hours before acquitting the officer. The acquittal came the same day that a judge in South Carolina sentenced Michael Slager, another white police officer, to 20 years in prison for the 2015 shooting death of an unarmed African American motorist, Walter Scott.
The South Carolina case was one of a number of fatal police shootings — often involving black men — that have set off outrage in recent years. In the Arizona incident, however, both the officer and the shooting victim were white.
Reactions to the Arizona video were swift and furious and civil rights activists, celebrities and athletes described the shooting as an execution and censured what they called a lack of accountability.
Some of them highlighted a threatening profanity Brails ford had etched onto the weapon he used to gun down Shaver, a fact the judge did not allow to be presented at trial.
This is while Brails ford’s lawyer Michael Piccarreta justified the fatal shooting and insisted in an interview on Saturday that his client’s actions were consistent with his training.