In this Oct. 25, 2017 file photo, Former Mesa police officer Philip Brailsford, left, and his attorney, Mike Piccarreta, stand for the jury, at the start of Brailsford's murder trial at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix . Brailsford was acquitted Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 of a murder charge in the 2016 fatal shooting of Daniel Shaver, an unarmed man outside his hotel room as officers were responding to a call that someone there was pointing a gun out a window. (David Wallace/The Arizona Republic via AP, File)

Widow of unarmed man 'betrayed' by acquittal of ex-officer

December 13, 2017 - 5:25 pm

PHOENIX (AP) — The widow of an unarmed Texas man who was killed by an Arizona police officer in videotaped shooting that later gained widespread attention says she feels "betrayed" by jurors who acquitted him of murder.

Laney Sweet said her husband, Daniel Shaver of Granbury, Texas, was executed last year as he begged for his life. Police in the suburban Phoenix city of Mesa fired Officer Philip Mitchell Brailsford after the shooting.

"I just don't understand how anybody could watch that video and then say 'not guilty,' that this is justified," Laney Sweet told CBS News in an interview that aired Tuesday. "That Daniel deserved this and that Philip Brailsford doesn't deserve to be held accountable for his actions."

Officers had gone to a hotel in response to a report of a man with a gun. Police ordered Shaver to exit his hotel room, lay face-down in the hallway and refrain from making sudden movements.

The jury saw video of Shaver crawling in the hallway and begging police through sobs not to shoot him. Authorities released the unedited, roughly 18-minute body-camera video Dec. 7, shortly after the verdict was reached. Jurors declined to speak with reporters after returning their decision.

Brailsford said he thought Shaver was grabbing a gun when he reached for his waistband. Authorities have said it looked like Shaver was pulling up loose-fitting basketball shorts that had fallen down as he crawled.

"He was shot five times for what? For his elbow coming up too high? For being confused? For being compliant? Why did he deserve to die? He didn't," Sweet said.

No gun was found on Shaver's body. Two pellet rifles related to his pest-control job were later found in his hotel room.

Shaver had two young daughters, including an 8-year-old who Sweet says now needs psychiatric help. Sweet and Shaver's parents have filed separate wrongful-death lawsuits against the city of Mesa.

Brailsford was a Mesa police officer for about two years before being fired for violating department policy.

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