Former Mesa Police Officer Cleared Of Murder Charge

Ceria Alfonso
Diciembre 8, 2017

A former Arizona police officer has been acquitted in the deadly shooting of an unarmed man almost two years ago at a hotel in Mesa.

The verdict cleared Philip Mitchell Brailsford, 27, of criminal liability in the death of Daniel Shaver, a married father-of-two from Granbury, Texas.

The video shows an intoxicated Shaver, who was staying at the motel while on a work trip and had been drinking with two people he had met earlier that night, being ordered to crawl out of the room after police responded to a report of shots fired from the room's window. As he inched forward, he reached toward the waistband of his shorts.

The detective investigating the shooting had agreed Shaver's movement was similar to reaching for a pistol, but has said it also looked as though Shaver was pulling up his loose-fitting basketball shorts that had fallen down as he was ordered to crawl toward officers.

As the jury learned, Shaver had invited a man and woman up to his room for drinks before police got there, and was showing them an air rifle he sometimes used to kill birds.

He and the other officers took up positions around the fifth-floor room occupied by Daniel Shaver, 26, a pest-control technician from Nashville, Tennessee.

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Prosecutors accused Brailsford of being too fast to pull the trigger, and alleged that Brailsford may not have even been looking at Shaver when he pulled the trigger. "He didn't want to harm Mr. Shaver..." Try to make a decision in one second, life or death.

Sweet shook her head "no" after the jury's decision and said she wasn't going to answer any questions.

Shaver's widow, Laney Sweet, and Shaver's parents have filed wrongful-death lawsuits against the city of Mesa over the shooting death.

During his trial testimony, Brailsford described the stress that he faced in responding to the call and his split-second decision to shoot Shaver.

The Mesa Police Department fired Brailsford in March 2016.

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