Thursday a jury from Maricopa County declared former Mesa police officer no guilty for shooting an unarmed man in Texas in 2016. Officer Philip Brailsford shot dead a man who was begging for his life on his knees.
How could this happen?
It took less than six hours over two days for the jury to reach the not guilty verdict. On Thursday afternoon, the eight-member jury found Brailsford not guilty for second-degree murder and also not guilty of reckless manslaughter.
While Judge’s George Foster’s clerks were reading the verdict, the courtroom went silent. The courtroom was full of people due to the case’s circumstances and media exposure.
A trip back in time
In 2016, Daniel Shaver was in a hotel kneeling in front of Mesa police officer Philip “Mitch” Brailsford. The officer was wearing a body camera and the footage of the tragic incident was released by the Mesa police Department.
Brailsford was one of the six police officers present in La Quinta Inn & Suites hallway on the 18th of January 2016. According to his testimony, Shaver appeared to be trying to reach for a gun. The officer decided to shot him with his AR-15 rifle five times.
Brailsford declared on trial that he would do the same given similar circumstances.
Deputy County Attorney Susie Charbel has tried to persuade the jury that the former police officer is a killer.
On the other side, Michael Piccarreta, Brailford’s lawyer declared that he believes his client acted in a split of a second, just as he was trained.
The jury has seen parts of the footage before reaching a verdict.
The president of the Mesa police union, Nate Gafvert declared that the trial was difficult for Brailsford’s and Shaver’s family, but he is certain that the former officer only reacted in a split of a second, just as he was trained.
This is not the first case in which police officers are involved in shootings and have been charged of murder and manslaughter in the US.