Former Mesa, Arizona Police Officer Philip Mitchell Brailsford was found not guilty of second degree murder on Dec. 7 by a Maricopa County jury.
Brailsford fatally shot and killed Daniel Shaver, an unarmed father of two, in January 2016 at the Mesa La Quinta Inn, reports the Arizona Republic.
The incident began when Shaver invited two friends to his hotel room to show them his new pellet gun, which he used in pest control.
An unidentified couple at the hotel pool told the hotel staff that they had seen a silhouette of a man holding a rifle in the window, and the staff called the police.
In a police body video, a hysterical police officer is heard screaming at Shaver and a woman as they surrendered on a hallway floor:
Apparently we have a failure for you to comprehend simple instructions, I gotta go over some of them again. If you make another mistake there is a very severe possibility that you’re both going to get shot…. I’m not here to be tactful or diplomatic with you. You listen. You obey.
The cop gave Shaver and the woman bizarre instructions about interlocking their fingers, crossing their left and right legs and correctly crawling towards the police.
The police took the innocent woman into custody, while Shaver begged for his life: “Please don’t hurt me.”
After Shaver accidentally moved his right hand downward, Brailsford executed Shaver with an AR-15.
Brailsford later claimed that he thought “100 percent that [Shaver] was reaching for a gun,” noted the Arizona Republic.
Mesa police union head Nate Gafvert said he was “extremely relieved with the verdict, although not surprised.”
Shaver’s widow, Laney Sweet, is reportedly planning to file a $35 million lawsuit against the city of Mesa, and has started a GoFundMe page to help her pay for legal costs.