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Phoenix-area judge OKs release of edited video of cop shooting suspect

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PHOENIX — A Phoenix-area judge approved the release of a video that allegedly shows a Mesa police officer shooting a suspect, on the condition that the video is edited.

Earlier this month, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sam Myers rejected motions filed by attorneys for the widow of Daniel Shaver and several media outlets, including the Associated Press, to get access to the video.

Myers said he wanted to hold the video from the public’s eye until a preliminary hearing could be held.

Myers found that prosecutors and defense attorneys for Officer Philip Mitchell Brailsford should have “an opportunity to present the videos in court with proper context, explanation and arguments.”

Shaver was killed outside his hotel room after someone reported seeing a man with a rifle. He and a woman were ordered to crawl toward officers in the hotel hallway. He tearfully pleaded for officers not to shoot him moments before Brailsford opened fire, according to a police report.

Brailsford, who has since been fired for several policy violations, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

The AP and other media outlets had pressed for the video to be shared on grounds that it is a public record.

Brailsford’s defense attorney, Craig Mehrens, and prosecutors opposed the release of the police video before any trial proceedings. Mehrens had argued releasing it would make it impossible to find an impartial jury.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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