An officer-involved-shooting in Mesa, AZ, is raising more questions as it moves into the rial phase. A Mesa police officer has been charged with second-degree murder for an on-duty shooting in January, though he pleaded not guilty in court March 14.
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After his plea, Officer Philip Brailsford was released without a bond.
“He is not a danger to the community,” Craig Mehrens, the officer’s attorney said. “He has honorably served the community as a Mesa police officer and he was honorably serving the day he received the call [to the shooting scene].”
Attorney for the prosecution disagree. They claim Brailsford was acting in a malicious manner.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Claim Daniel Shaver was kneeling when Brailsford killed him. Brailsford shot Shaver five times inside a hotel.
Brailsford was armed with an AR-15, though it was not one issued for use by the Mesa Police Department. Part of the controversy surrounding the weapon centers around the inscription on the rifle, an inscription that violates department policy.
“Inscripted [sic] on the officer’s gun, and I hate to use profanity, but it said, “You’re F*****,”’ says Laney Sweet, Daniel Shaver’s widow.
The inscription is etched into the inside of the dust-cover, a small flap above the ejection port that falls open when the rifle’s bolt cycles.
“That statement tells me this is a person who’s enthusiastic about killing people,” Marc Victor, a lawyer representing Sweet claims. “That’s what that inscription means.”
Brailsford is now being investigated by the Mesa police, too. Chief John Meza has recommended that the department fire Officer Brailsford, and formal termination proceedings are now in process.
The incident began when guests at a La Quinta Inn called police to report a man with a gun standing in front of a window in one of the hotel rooms. Brailsford responded. The gun turned out to be a pellet gun that Shaver used in his pest control business. Shaver was reportedly unarmed when he answered the door to Officer Brailsford.
The shooting was recorded on camera, though the unedited videos have not been released. The family is asking for those videos to be released, and they will be when they’re used in trial–if not before. Here’s what has been released: