On January 18, 2016, Mesa Police Department officer Philip Brailsford shot and killed Daniel Leetin Shaver of Granbury, Texas in the hallway of a La Quinta Inn & Suites hotel.
Sgt. Charles Langley and Brailsford responded to a 911 call claiming that a man was pointing a rifle out a window at the La Quinta Inn in Mesa, AZ.
I want you to watch one of the most outrageous and infuriating videos I’ve ever seen. It shows the police shooting of Shaver. He was crawling on his hands and knees, crying, and begging police not to shoot him. An officer shot him anyway:
It is important to note that the voice you hear barking commands at Shaver isn’t Brailsford’s voice. That’s Sgt. Langley, who maintains an intensity level of 15 on a scale of one to 10 throughout the interaction even though Shaver continues to follow every instruction.
If you’re searching for reasons to feel sympathy for Brailsford, you could point to the fact that his own sergeant seemed almost to be looking for excuses to waste Shaver as possibly contributing to Brailsford’s own itchy trigger finger.
They were both fired by the Mesa police Department and Langley has left the United States to live in the Philippines.
According to a police report, Shaver, a pest-control worker and resident of Granbury, Texas, had been staying at a Mesa La Quinta Inn & Suites on business. He invited two acquaintances to his room for drinks. There he showed them a scoped air rifle he was using to exterminate birds inside grocery stores. At one point the gun was pointed outside his hotel window, prompting a witness to notify the front desk; the police were immediately called.
Upon arrival, police gave Shaver and his acquaintance’s detailed orders for several minutes, with frequent admonitions that failing to comply with them would get them shot.
Eventually, Shaver was ordered to crawl on the floor towards them. While complying with their request, Shaver, who was intoxicated and could be heard sobbing, begging officers, “Please don’t shoot,” brought his hands toward his waist.
Langley yelled at Shaver that if Shaver did anything whatsoever that deviated from his instructions he would shoot him and he probably wouldn’t survive. The Sgt. told Shaver to put his hands up in the air and not to bring them down for any reason.
A few seconds later, Langley ordered Shaver to crawl towards him, to which Shaver complied. Shaver then reached his right hand back towards his waistband, at which point Brailsford can be heard yelling “Don’t!” while simultaneously opening fire with his AR-15 rifle, striking Shaver five times and killing him almost instantly. Shaver was unarmed.
There has been some debate on social media. Was it a good shot? Did the jury make the right decision?
I blame Sgt. Langley for 95% of this mess. He escalated the situation and was inept. I do not blame Brailsford for the moment he felt he had to shoot. I blame them both for ever getting to that point.
Some say it was a job well done.
Had it been a job well done, they would both still be in law enforcement and the voice on the video would not have had to flee the country to the Philippines.
It is a number one priority in law enforcement protocol to de-escalate. Kinda one of the basics taught at the Academy. Like getting the temperature correct at cooking school.
Langley did the opposite because he could not control his emotions. Something proven at the end of the video, after the guy was no longer a threat.
His failure to de-escalate and the fact that he severely escalated the emotions at the scene, not only shows it was not a job well done, but instead shows he was incompetent in the foundational basics of law enforcement.
Another basic in law enforcement is the goal to walk away from any interaction without a loss of life.
I know of ZERO law enforcement officers, no matter if it was a good shot or not, including the officers involved in this case, who would have called this a “job well done”
In order to believe that, one must believe that it is ok for a law ENFORCEMENT officer, to be an authority with the right to execute judgement.
In America, what makes our justice system superior, is that the law is the authority, not the peace officer.
Another basic taught the first day at the Academy.
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