This is....the stuff of nightmares. Ice cold chills. A barbaric execution. Daniel Shaver did everything he could to listen to the impossible and constantly changing orders of the officer. The officer - from this video - was looking for any excuse to shoot him. Any. https://t.co/EH8RK4Hpsm— Jo Kaur (@SikhFeminist) December 8, 2017
Body camera footage of a police killing in a hotel hallway in Arizona has left many puzzled and outraged as the officer responsible for the death of an unarmed civilian was acquitted on Thursday.
The bodycam video provides a disturbing visual account of what went down when Philip "Mitch" Brailsford pulled the trigger of his AR-15 rifle, killing a suspect in what many are describing as an execution-style shooting.
The man who Brailsford shot and killed, Daniel Shaver, 26 of Granbury, Texas, was in Mesa, Arizona, on a business trip. Shaver leaves behind a wife and two children.
Shaun King, a columnist for The Intercept, shared the bodycam footage with his Twitter followers early Friday morning after it was released to the public following Brailsford’s acquittal.
WARNING: The video below contains graphic material that may be shocking to users.
The Brutal Police Execution of Daniel Shaver— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) December 8, 2017
Sadly I've studied 100s of videos of American police executing non-violent, unarmed people. This is one of the worst I've ever witnessed.
This happened in January of 2016, but the judge just released the video.
A grave injustice. pic.twitter.com/O3UjLb3mZJ
Brailsford was fired two months after the shooting, which occurred in January 2016, for violating department policy, Newsweek reports.
In the video, another officer, Sgt. Charles Langley, can be heard telling Shaver and another female accompanying him that "if you make a mistake, there is a very severe possibility that you are going to be shot."
When Shaver asks for clarification, Langley tells him, "Shut up. I'm not here to be diplomatic with you. You listen, you obey."
It isn't the only time Langley is verbally aggressive with Shaver in the video.
"If you move, we're going to consider that a threat," Langley tells him at one point. "We are going to deal with it, and you may not survive."
After Langley gives Shaver a series of instructions, including kneeling while keeping his legs crossed — a move that appeared to be difficult for Shaver to do physically — the officers point their weapon at Shaver, and Langley screams, "Put your hands up!"
"If you think you're going to fall, you better fall flat on your face," Langley adds. "Put your hands straight up in the air!"
"Please don’t shoot me," Shaver begs through tears to the officers.
Langley then gives Shaver the instructions to crawl toward him. Shaver, following the instructions, puts his hands on the ground to begin crawling.
Shaver then reaches back with one hand in what looks like a move to readjust his pants so he can crawl easier. Brailsford then opens fire on him.
The bodycam footage seemed for many on social media to be an inexcusable use of violence on the part of Brailsford against Shaver.
This is the face of a murderer! You heard him in the video.. Yelling like a mad man threatening to shoot or kill #DanielShaver even after he was down on the floor crying scared!! Clearly Phillip Brailsford had one thing on his mind that day.. that was to KILL!! pic.twitter.com/6R0LC5jxBn— CoLie MoNiZe (@MONIZE707) December 8, 2017
Just watched the video of officer Brailsford, who was just acquitted, murdering Daniel Shaver. I may be in a public place but I'm full on crying right now. America has serious problems.— Natalie (@nantturi) December 8, 2017
I just watched the footage of Officer Philip Brailsford shooting and killing Daniel Shaver in Jan. of 2016 in Arizona. Daniel Shaver was terrified. Philip Brailsford is a murderer. I am heartbroken. I am devastated.— madmae🌻 (@madatyobye) December 8, 2017
I watched the video and it still shakes me to my core. The depth of the brutality, the clear intent to commit murder and the lack of consequences should disturb all Americans. https://t.co/kNer8UV0x2— sean. 🎅🏽 (@SeanMcElwee) December 8, 2017
This one got away with it. They said he "Acted within his training" Then the training needs to be changed. Being trained to murder people does not excuse murder. Change the training to reduce innocent people being murdered by police. https://t.co/2gC5XwEWFK via @azcentral— Jack Swift (@_JackSwift) December 8, 2017
It appears in the video that Shaver was complying the best he could to Langley's loud instructions. He got confused at one point, and it cost him his life. Brailsford should not have killed Shaver, and his actions went beyond what many people considered necessary for an officer in that situation.
Police do have the right to defend themselves in situations where it is warranted. But it’s hard to justify Brailsford’s brutal decision to kill a defenseless suspect in a hotel hallway.
Police departments across the country need to re-evaluate their standards, and a serious discussion on police ruthlessly killing civilians needs to be had.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS, Joe Penney