Police Abuse

Ariz. Cop Charged With Murder After Shooting Unarmed Man Who Begged For His Life

Footage of shooting not being released.

|

Maricopa County

Officer Philip Brailsford was charged with murder and fired by the Mesa Police Department over a January incident where Brailsford shot and killed Daniel Shaver, an unarmed father of two from Texas. Brailsford is granted the privilege to appeal his termination with two weeks thanks to his status as a government employee.

This week, authorities released material related to the charges, including a transcript of the body cam footage, according to which Shaver begged for his life multiple times, telling Brailsford "please don't shoot me" moments before he was shot and killed.

Shaver appears to have got caught in a civilian and police overreaction. Guests of the motel he was staying at called police and said they saw a man with a gun in a fifth-floor window. Police arrived at Shaver's room, and ordered him and another person in the room with him to exit the room on their hands and knees. According to the county attorney's report, Shaver "was cooperative, but sometimes confused by the commands… because of his possible intoxication." According to the report, Brailsford "told Shaver that if he put his hands behind his back then he would be shot."

Brailsford was charged with second-degree murder. The fatal shooting was considered an unjustified use of force by the county attorney and his complaint accuses Brailsford of "manifesting an extreme indifference to human life recklessly causing the death of another."

Transcripts of the 911 call as well as the police report were also released, but not the actual footage from Brailsford's body camera.

Police found no weapon firearms in Shaver's room, only two pellet guns. Both pellet guns and real guns are legal in the state of Arizona.

NEXT: NC Sheriff's Lying Invalidates 100+ DWIs, Makes Roads Less Safe!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Police found no weapon in Shaver’s room, only two pellet guns.

    Not that particularly matters, but I beg to differ, Ed. Pellet guns are weapons.

    1. And weapons are legal to own, so fuck whoever called them in.

      1. Numerous news organizations in the area are reporting that the pellet guns were related to his pest control business. That seems like a relevant detail that often gets left out.

    2. It does matter.

      1. Police found no weapon firearms in Shaver’s room

        You’re setting a dangerous precedent, Krayewski. Once the inmates think they run the place they’ll lose their minds.

        1. Once you pay the commentergeld…

    3. If we are being pedantic

      1. By that I meant it should have been pellet air rifles…

    4. Not in Arizona they’re not. Or any other place with ‘sensible gun control laws’. Or to anyone with common sense.

    5. ‘Weapon’ is a weasel-word anyway. Almost anything can be a weapon. A can of spray cheese can be a weapon if I shoot it in your eyes (or hit you with it). I will guaran-damn-tee that there was something in that room that could be used as a weapon.

  2. Charged with murder. Yeah, OK, we know they’ll botch the prosecution on purpose.

    1. Totality of circs

      booyah

        1. smooches

    2. The DA has already offered him a plea deal with no jail time without even talking to the victims wife.

      1. You’re shitting me.

        1. PINAC has a write up about it.

          1. The only thing worse than that development is PINAC’s layout.

            I kid, but it’s awful.

            1. *Googles PINAC*

              Oh. MY.

              That site’s a cluttered mess.

      2. He must have one of those 007 badges.

      3. Jesus Christ. This was a fucking execution.

      4. Well, that was quick. I wonder what they will let him plea to? Disorderly conduct?

  3. I wonder what the world would be like if police depts stopped hiring pants-shitting sociopaths?

    1. Same as now but with more black people.

      1. “I’ll have a coke!”

    2. I’d settle for just the US. There are at least some other countries that don’t seem to have this problem to the extent that America does.

      1. Obligatory

        In Canada, whose urban police departments have absorbed certain American practices, a dozen or so people get shot dead by cops each year, which is again somewhat short of the US rate. Indeed, that 2012 “justifiable homicide” figure of 410 compares to a total Canadian homicide count for 2011 of 598. In other words, in America 120,000 or so full-time law enforcement officers rack up the same number of homicides as about 24 million Canadians.

        This strikes me as on the high side, no matter what “cultural factors” are considered – high rates of gun ownership, millions of illegal aliens, violent drug gangs, etc.

    3. A guy I’ve worked with for many years recently lost his business due to the fact that he hired a guy who raped a lady at a house they were working on. A small business owner, didn’t run extensive background checks on the guy, just hired him because a friend of a friend had said he was okay. The jury said he should have known better than to just hire some guy you’re going to be letting into customer’s houses without checking up on him, cost him a shitload of money and his business because who’s going to hire a guy who goes around hiring rapists?

      Now, you’d think that law enforcement should be held to a higher standard than that – you’re giving a guy and gun and a badge and permission to shoot people if you think they need shooting. How good were your background checks if you let this guy slip through? Not good enough, obviously – so where’s the lawsuit against the police department for gross negligence in hiring the guy? Where’s the demand they change their standards and practices and that sacred Procedures Manual such that this sort of shit stops happening?

      1. where’s the lawsuit against the police department for gross negligence in hiring the guy? Where’s the demand they change their standards and practices and that sacred Procedures Manual such that this sort of shit stops happening?

        Sovereign Immunity is a bitch

        1. Qualified…only Prosecutors and Judges get Sovereign I believe but I could be wrong.

          1. Only the State gets Sovereign immunity.

            The federal and state governments can only be sued if it consents to being sued. Sovereign Immunity is for the government as a whole.

            Qualified Immunity applies to individual employees or those acting on behalf of the government. It shields them from personal accountability for the negative consequences of fulfilling their assigned duties – even unto unlawful actions if those actions did not violate ‘clearly established law’.

            Its essentially having the mens rea requirement that is being stripped from laws applied to us little people embedded as a cornerstone of your employment contract.

      2. Oh, Jerry, thinking the same rules apply to your state-sanctioned betters. Silly boy.

      3. Does this guy own Time Warner?

        1. No, he’s actually accountable for his mistakes.

  4. Both pellet guns and real guns are legal in the state of Arizona.

    Not when there’s a cop present.

    1. “Reasonable mistake of law” means being able to say, “Oops, my bad.” with a straight face.

  5. Involuntary manslaughter and put on leave for six months. Paid leave, of course.

  6. Chalk one up for the bodycams, and cops too stupid to fuck them up after they catch something incriminating.

    1. What is scary is that he didn’t see anything wrong with what he did so he left the cam footage intact. Shit he probably forwarded it to his buddies.

      “Hmmm…. I just shot a guy who was on his hands and knees and begging. Do I need to do anything to cover my ass here? Nope. Good shoot.”

      I’m surprised he didn’t do the big game hunter pose (one foot on the chest of the victim while staring into the distance).

  7. I never thought things would end this badly for Pajama Boy. He should have staid working for Obama and never gotten into law enforcement.

    1. its our fault really.

      Our incessant insults and jokes over the pajamas meant that he both lost his position as a leftist cover model (because they really can’t take ball-busting over there) and meant that he felt his masculinity was threatened and so he took the most manly job he could find that didn’t require any heavy lifting.

      You can see it in the caption picture – ‘But I *shot* a man! Doesn’t that make me alpha?’

  8. “told Shaver that if he put his hands behind his back then he would be shot.”

    That seems tailor-made to give the cop a reason to kill a man.

    1. I was guessing that maybe the cop thought he had a gun in his back waistband…? But in that case why wouldn’t he just ask shriek hysterically at him to turn around?

    2. He was wearing shorts and no shirt.

      1. A.K.A. Florida businesswear.

    3. Everything is made to give the cop a reason to do whatever the fuck they want. Funny how they’ve developed that.

    4. “told Shaver that if he put his hands behind his back then he would be shot.”

      “Iffen I don’t move, I can’t put my hands up. Iffen I put my hands up, I’ve moved. Which is it you boys want me to do?”

      1. Okay then.

      2. *Unloads 13 rounds*

        That’s resisting.

        1. *Unloads 13, hits 0 on target, one bystander*

          ARREST THAT FUCKER FOR GETTING IN MY BULLET’S WAY

      3. +1 Nathan Arizona

  9. According to the report, Brailsford “told Shaver that if he put his hands behind his back then he would be shot.”

    I don’t hear so well, even when sober. I could easily have misinterpreted this as “put your hands behind your back or you will be shot.”

    Who the *&^% thinks that giving anything but clear, direct orders is a good thing to do, especially to an intoxicated man?

    1. A cop who expects that anything he does will be given cover by his superiors?

    2. Who the *&^% thinks that giving anything but clear, direct orders is a good thing to do, especially to an intoxicated man?

      while i think this guy clearly shouldn’t be a police officer, i also think whomever puts together the S.O.P. of this particular police force needs to re-assess its, “Make people crawl on their hands and knees” and “give easily-confused commands” protocols.

      1. That stuff usually isn’t fixed until a wrongful death lawsuit with a 7 figure settlement.

        LA County Sheriffs Department learned that the hard way. They had seven (7) different deputies shouting contradictory commands at the same time. So of course, blam blam blam.

      2. What is wrong with making them lie down flat on the floor? Then, Mr. Smart Policeman can see if he/she has anything in their back waistband?

    3. You are assuming the cops actually want to de-escalate the situation without violence. Why would you assume that?

    4. I read it that way.

      Isn’t it SOP to have a suspect put their hands behind their back so the officer can cuff them? I bet that’s what Shaver was expecting ? to be cuffed after he put his hands behind his back.

    5. If I hear the words “hands behind your back” from a person pointing a gun at me, I will in my panic mode assume that’s where s/he wants my hands. Processing an “if… then” direction is difficult when panicking.

      1. Basically the brain is like a search engine. If you type in “don’t show me gay porn”, you’re gunna be really upset with the results the search engine gives you. If you hear “don’t put your hands behind your back”, your instinct hears the part about hands and back, and only after a brief processing time does the ‘don’t’ filter in. In a crisis situation, that instinct becomes stronger and the processing time takes longer. And of course, cops pointing guns at you is 100% a crisis situation. Commands should always be stated in positive terms if you expect them to be obeyed.

    6. Cops who actually get no *off* the job training on handling these sorts of ’emergencies’.

      Seriously – if you’re going to be assigned to a unit that the military feels might need to do riot duty, you get unit training on how to keep your cool and *hopefully* not stir an angry crowd into a full-on massacre. Even *hands-on* training where the training crowd is intended to try to piss you off and make you lose your cool.

      And that’s in addition to the unit SOP’s that are developed and maintained and practiced *as a unit* so that everyone works together.

      For cops all this stuff seems to be ad-hoc. They throw two dudes in a car and you might suddenly find yourself working alongside 2-6 other dudes they threw at the scene that you don’t know except from the mid-shift donut break.

      So its absolutely no wonder that you get guys who issue confusing commands right alongside a ‘partner’ who issues a command that contradicts what you just ordered the guy to do.

  10. OT: guess what socialist is corpse fucking the Bernie thread?

    1. I’m scared to look.

    2. There’s a bernie thread? I saw 5 Trumps and 1 global-warming.

      1. Is that a new gin rummy hand?

        1. Yeah, but it’s the losing hand.

    3. Marx? Stalin? Or just some supporter of a repeatedly failed ideological nightmare that is responsible for millions of deaths?

  11. Oh, and happy NUTSHOT THURSDAY!

  12. Maricopa County. I’m shocked.

  13. As I think more about it, this guy probably will be convicted of murder and thrown in the pokey forever. That way he can serve as the example when someone needs to argue that cops are held responsible.

    1. As I think more about it, this guy probably will be convicted of murder and thrown in the pokey forever.

      Or, he’ll take the plea deal he’s already been offered and not spend a minute behind bars.

      1. Well maybe my first guess was the correct one then.

  14. told Shaver that if he put his hands behind his back then he would be shot

    So the guy was screwed either way. When the officer tells the man to put his hands behind his back so he can detain him, he would have had to shoot him for complying. Way to go, hotshot.

  15. RE: Ariz. Cop Charged With Murder After Shooting Unarmed Man Who Begged For His Life

    1. Isn’t big government wonderful?
    2. Aren’t you glad you have Big Brother watching over us with his benevolent eyes and cocked gun?

    Brailsford is granted the privilege to appeal his termination with two weeks thanks to his status as a government employee.

    1. Aren’t you glad there are public sector unions to protect government employees who murder citizens who beg for their lives?

    2. Aren’t public sector unions wonderful?

  16. RE: Ariz. Cop Charged With Murder After Shooting Unarmed Man Who Begged For His Life

    1. Isn’t big government wonderful?
    2. Aren’t you glad you have Big Brother watching over us with his benevolent eyes and cocked gun?

    Brailsford is granted the privilege to appeal his termination with two weeks thanks to his status as a government employee.

    1. Aren’t you glad there are public sector unions to protect government employees who murder citizens who beg for their lives?

    2. Aren’t public sector unions wonderful?

    1. sorry about the double post.
      I will repent by forcing myself to watch Bernie Sanders, Trump and Hitlery tell us how wonderful they are and how wonderful Amerika will be once they are elected.

      1. That will just please those smug bastard squirrels. To placate the commenters, you’ll have to accuse someone of being a Tulpa sock or demand that Buttplug produce a receipt.

        1. That sounds like something a Tulpa sockpuppet would suggest.

          1. Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

  17. They refused to show the footage to the wife unless she agreed not to speak about it. Go to PINAC to see the video.

    1. We’ll all see it when it becomes evidence in the civil trial.

    2. Bill Montgomery knows her attorney, Marc Victor intimately. They debated marijuana here in Maricopa County. I wasn’t there, but after the debate, I asked Bill how he thought it went. The man seemed shell shocked. He told me that he would never have a debate like that again; that Marc Victor “just jumped around yelling about freedom.”

      More things to know about Bill: he believes that SWAT teams should be used for routine drug busts so that these units get more practice. He vigorously defends Civil Asset Forfeiture.

      Now, that said, in the video, Bill Montgomery says that he can’t share the video with the media. I’m not clear why he cannot; but if there is a valid reason why he can’t release details of the video, it stands to reason that he cannot show the video to parties who would share more details of the video with the media. It may be that “can’t” here actually means “won’t,” but I don’t have enough information to reach a conclusion here.

      If you want to ask him, call his office. (602) 506-3411

      1. I’m the transcript of his interview with the widow, the prosecutor claims that releasing the video or allowing her to view it without an NDA would taint any proceedings against the murderer. Which doesn’t stand to reason: if the murderer accepts the plea he’s already been offered, he’s off the hook. If it goes to trial, jurors will be shown the footage anyway. So the prosecutor is a mendacious creep who lied to the widow of a man callously murdered by an agent of the state.

        1. I’m sure that it wouldn’t be the first time that somebody called Bill Montgomery a mendacious creep. After all, he’s a former Amway salesman.

  18. Shaver isn’t even a person of color, so not sure why we should care about this.

    /derp

  19. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said Shaver was on his hands and knees when Brailsford shot him five times inside a Mesa hotel. The gun used was a personal AR-15 assault weapon that had been approved for service use by the Mesa Police Department. However, Mesa police noted that their investigation of the shooting turned up a vulgar inscription on the rifle that doesn’t meet department policy.

    “Inscripted on the officer’s gun, and I hate to use profanity, but it said, “you’re f*****,”‘ Laney Sweet, Daniel Shaver’s wife said.

    According to several sources, the rifle’s vulgar inscription is on the inside of the rifle’s dust cover. The inscription is only visible if the dust cover is open, which happens automatically in order to eject spent rounds while the weapon is fired.

    “That statement tells me this is a person who’s enthusiastic about killing people,” Marc Victor, lawyer for Sweet and her late husband, argued. “That’s what that inscription means.”

    1. Yeah, there’s no doubt in my mind this asshole wanted to kill a man.

    2. Using that rifle in a motel is reckless endangerment, as well as remarkably stupid. Ar-15 rounds go through drywall like your sister-in-law goes through the all-you-can-eat buffet.

      Only an idiot uses a rifle in enclosed spaces/short ranges when he has a pistol available.

      1. But but but – it was *reported* that the suspect had a GUN! IN ARIZONA! *shock, horror*. Of course he had to bring the biggest gun he could as there’s no telling what this maniac might be packing.

      2. Not to defend the fuck, but it depends on the types of bullets he was using. Because of the small bullet size and high speed, a lightly constructed 5.56 round will tear itself apart after striking hard objects, limiting its penetration through building materials. OTOH a pistol bullet, being much heavier and not moving so fast, will simply keep trucking through and will penetrate further. AR-15s and M4s have become fairly standard for room clearing because of this.

        I do kind of doubt this asshole was using the right bullets, though. It takes a bit of knowledge to choose the right ammunition for the application, and this guy probably didn’t give a shit.

        1. I’ve seen a few tests with ball ammo that were pretty impressive. Even after the bullet deflects, it just keeps on punching through drywall.

          My objection to using a rifle in enclosed spaces is purely tactical, though. They just aren’t the right tool for the job, compared to a pistol or even a cut-down shotgun.

          Of course, if you’re a shit pistol shot, they’re probably better, but that’s your problem for being a shit pistol shot.

          1. I’ve seen a few tests with ball ammo that were pretty impressive. Even after the bullet deflects, it just keeps on punching through drywall.

            Ball ammo is FMJ, and of course it’s going to penetrate like hell; That’s what it is designed for. But so are hollow-point pistol bullets; the point usually gets plugged by the drywall and effectively turns the bullet into an FMJ. Buckshot is also going to have penetration problems. A lightly constructed .223/5.56 round like Winchester PDX1 or something designed for shooting varmints is going to fragment as soon as it hits anything hard, and so is going to penetrate less.

            My objection to using a rifle in enclosed spaces is purely tactical, though. They just aren’t the right tool for the job, compared to a pistol or even a cut-down shotgun.

            A carbine can be as short as any shotgun — actually, shorter if you don’t NFA it, since a rifle can have a barrel of 16″ and a shotgun has to have a barrel of at least 18″– and a shotgun has the same problem as pistol bullets. You can also have more ammo on tap with a carbine.

  20. “The media will keep asking you questions until they get you to say something they want … Quite frankly, they don’t give a rat’s ass about you or anything else.”

    Thank God they use mics, not guns.

  21. Am I really the only person who sees a striking resemblance between this guy and pajama boy?

    1. Both have the vacant fish-eyed look of men unburdened by a conscience.

    2. Maybe if Pajama Boy gained 160 pounds. All I see in this guy is a well-justified inferiority complex.

      1. All those hot chocolates had to catch up to him eventually.

    3. Yeah. Where the fuck’s his copstache? I’d say he earned one.

  22. Ariz. Cop Charged With Murder After Shooting Unarmed Man Who Begged For His Life

    By the way, if you visit the BuzzFeed site that was linked previously in the AM Feeds regarding this incident, you will find some interesting comments regarding guns and gun control that make you think people in this country are prone to that devastating and mortal disease called “missing the point completely”.

  23. Heaven help this guy if the bodycam footage doesn’t get lost, because it would take a herculean dive for a prosecutor not to get a conviction based off a man begging on his hands and knees for his life on video.

    1. Forget it, Jake. Its Maricopatown.

  24. O.M.G. There new world order Rights given to them to justify everything is back firing on them as they kill so many innocent people. All the Type A personality nut cases with a chip on shoulder ran to be a cop. mom or dad issues, young ex vet that wants to kill more, lol – Most No Collage only cop training and this folks is what you get. Now camera laws are being stopped with “need to know” then the will never see light of day if police did something wrong by there union’s etc… passed by same people that gave them these different from you and me the after 911 super homeland security shoot first ask later screw you powers. All the more justification for civilian review boards with subpoena powers to Stop these Injustices from happening. because internal police review is a joke. let the public see the reports and same with lawyers and there Bar reports against them, reports need to be on the internet to let the people see and vote out the offenders that stick out. it is coming. Online bar and police complaint website (with pictures) the only way to go to weed out the bad.

    1. Oh and we will call the Police complaint website “CrimeTimes2” or popacop.as they love crimetimes and the pictures of arrested before convicted soo much they deserve same. and the Lawyer complaint website HackaHack Lyinglawyers. It is just a matter of time. and remember with Pictures of these pigs . bad attorneys along with your complaint in the same fashion that the police write the report about you. Just like so when the write on report “subject was seen to have crack pipe”(and it turned out to be a cigarette) but never says that after fact but before court and that “subject resisted arrest and spit” you can say your truth – cop was talking to me nice at first then out of nowhere he grabbed me without cause and forced me down twisting arm and dropped knee into my back and I was mad so I spit at ground not lying cop) etc …etc…Your version of what happened before court to counter attack of bad cops, Louisville Kentucky police are the Most corrupt in the Nation. there will be a civilian review board sometime I only hope sooner than later

      1. There’s a fucking reason we use punctuation man.

        The way you posted this . . . shit, it just shows *contempt* for your audience.

  25. Brailsford was one of the first Mesa Police officers to be given a body camera, which he received as a rookie in 2013.

    He talked to the Arizona Republic about the camera in 2013, saying, “I definitely think there is a benefit to start out with this so young. It’s like learning a new tool right off the bat. I’m excited to use it. I’ll be able to go through a call and see what I did wrong ? basically better myself.”

    But both the prosecutor and Brailsford’s attorney filed motions for the body camera footage to be sealed, KNXV-TV reports.

    “Oh, you mean this footage wasn’t only intended for self-auditing but actual video evidence? No one ever told me that.”

  26. The fact that this person will likely not get any time behind bars with the already-offered plea deal is disgusting.

    You would hope it’s because the prosecutor simply believes s/he won’t be able to get a jury that isn’t filled with idiots who are swayed by a “hero on the thin blue line trying to protect us all”-type defense (we ARE talking about Maricopa County here, after all, the place that reelected Joe Arpaio after verifiable allegations of inmate abuse by his office were publicized).

  27. When my 6 year old son told me the other day that he wants to be a policeman when he grows up, I really wanted to tell him that that’s a great idea because he will never, ever have to worry about going to jail, no matter how many bad things he does and how bad they are.

    1. Go and get him a dog from the pound and make him shoot it.

    2. If any kid of mine said they wanted to be a cop when they grew up, I’d tell them “That’s fine. But be aware that you will never be welcome in my house again. Not without a warrant anyway. And I will never visit you or recognize you in public. You will be dead to me.”

    3. I like Sug’s approach better.

      “Kid, if you want to be a cop, you better be a stone cold killer. Your puppy? Shoot it now, or give up on being a cop forever. SHOOT IT! SHOOT IT, YOU PSYCHO!”

      [I’d have blanks in the gun, because the li’l psycho might actually pull the trigger.]

    4. Does he have an unhealthy interest in fire, or hurt animals? If not, you should probably break it to gently him that policing isn’t a good fit.

      1. No, but he does enjoy abusing his 3 yo brother-a typical boy in other words. He has also asked me if police kill people with their guns and I told him that they do and that the people who they kill are often not the bad guys because they make mistakes. To this, he told me that we need less police then, so there is hope for him.

  28. I think they’re afraid white middle-class suburbanites will rise up and destroy their suburbs in huge riots nationwide if they release this inflammatory video.

  29. We need a complaint website!!!! We will call the Police complaint website “CrimeTimes2” or popacop.as they love crimetimes and the pictures of arrested before convicted soo much they deserve same. and the Lawyer complaint website HackaHack Lyinglawyers. It is just a matter of time. and remember with Pictures of these pigs . bad attorneys along with your complaint in the same fashion that the police write the report about you. Just like so when the write on report “subject was seen to have crack pipe”(and it turned out to be a cigarette) but never says that after fact but before court and that “subject resisted arrest and spit” you can say your truth – cop was talking to me nice at first then out of nowhere he grabbed me without cause and forced me down twisting arm and dropped knee into my back and I was mad so I spit at ground not lying cop) etc …etc…Your version of what happened before court to counter attack of bad cops, Louisville Kentucky police are the Most corrupt in the Nation. there will be a civilian review board sometime I only hope sooner than later

  30. Ariz. Cop Charged With Murder After Shooting Unarmed Man Who Begged For His Life

    How can you really beg without arms?

  31. Acquitted on all charges. He reasonably feared for his safety and acted according to regulation. Reinstated to patrol duty with back pay and an apology from the taxpayers.

  32. BTW, the cop who shot Laquan McDonald 16 times and is on unpaid leave was hired by the police union as a janitor.

    1. Police unions should be prosecuted under RICO

  33. Shiny badges.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.