Police brutality continues to be an issue, even though more and more police officers are being required to wear body cameras. A sad incident in Mesa, Arizona shows that even in the face of evidence, a police department will continue to protect a police officer who wrongfully shot a citizen. Recently, an unarmed father of two young children was shot by a police officer five times, right after he begged, “Please don’t shoot me.” Now the murderous police officer is being offered a plea deal, and the police department refuses to even show his widow the evidence from the body camera.
Daniel Shaver was a 26 year old who is the father to two daughters. He was staying at a hotel room with an acquaintance in the town of Mesa, Arizona when the police received an anonymous phone call claiming that someone in the room was waving a rifle out of the window. It was later realized that the rifle in question was just a pellet gun, which Shaver used in his work as a pest controller.
The police told Shaver and the other person within the room to crawl out into the hallway of the hotel. As Shaver crawled, he kept his hand at his waist to keep his pants from falling down. Officer Phillip Brailsford shot him five times with an AR-15 assault rifle that Brailsford personally owned. This assault rifle was inscribed with the words “You’re f**ked.”
As Marc Victor, the lawyer for Shaver’s widow, pointed out, the inscription seems to show that “this is a person who’s enthusiastic about killing people.” Laney Sweet, Shaver’s widow is outraged over her husband’s death and the way the police department is handling the crime. She was not even notified of his death, and Sweet only found out after she spent two days calling every hospital and police station in the area because her husband was not responding to her calls.
Sweet is now determined to get justice or her husband. Though Brailsford was fired and is facing charges of second degree murder, county attorney Bill Montgomery says that a plea deal is being worked on that would result in three years and nine months of jail time. The county also refuses to release any footage of the crime, even though Brailsford was wearing a body camera.
Shaver’s widow has uploaded a video on YouTube that shows just how much the department is trying to obstruct her search for justice. In the video, county officials tell her that she will only be allowed to see the footage if she promises to never publicly discuss what she sees. Supposedly, public access to this footage would unfairly affect Brailsford’s trial. The police department and the county are hiding this footage which could otherwise be used to help the public know what really happened.
Even though Brailsford was an aggressive man and Shaver was clearly not a threat, the police department is still working to protect him. Obviously there must be something incriminating on the footage if they do not want the public to see it. You can watch Sweet’s video on YouTube to see just how uncooperative and shady the county officials are being while Sweet tries to find justice for her murdered husband.