Widow of Daniel Shaver opens up about Mesa officer’s not guilty verdict

Dec 13, 2017, 7:21 AM | Updated: 9:11 pm

PHOENIX — Nearly a week after a jury cleared a former Mesa police officer of murder charges in the shooting of Daniel Shaver, his widow told a national television audience, “I just don’t understand how anybody could watch that [body-cam] video and then say, ‘not guilty.'”

Laney Sweet told CBS News on Tuesday that her unarmed husband died, “a very horrible inhumane death” at a hotel in early 2016.

Graphic body-cam footage of Shaver’s final minutes was released last Thursday by the Mesa Police Department, shortly after a jury found Philip Brailsford not guilty of second-degree murder charges.

Police had been called to the hotel near U.S. 60 and Superstition Springs Boulevard after reports of a man pointing a rifle from a window.

“You had a man begging for his life, and 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 in the interview, her first since the verdict was rendered.

Brailsford testified that he fired his rifle when Shaver, who was lying face-down in a hallway after officers ordered him out of his hotel room, reached toward his back. The officer thought Shaver was reaching for a weapon and said he had to make split-second decision.

Brailsford had been on the job for two years before he was dismissed for violating department policy and unsatisfactory performance.

In January, Sweet filed a wrongful death suit against the city, the responding officers and the hotel’s parent company, seeking $75 million in damages. The document described the killing as unprovoked and avoidable had officers investigated more thoroughly before confronting Shaver.

The couple has two young daughters. Sweet said her 8-year-old recently tried to hurt herself out of continued grief and had been hospitalized.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Follow @suelenrivera...

SuElen Rivera

Tickets for ‘Hamilton’ at ASU Gammage in Tempe go on sale

Show tickets to see the Broadway sensation musical "Hamilton" in the summer in Tempe's ASU Gammage went on sale Monday.

39 minutes ago

Photos of a secret compartment found in a vehicle stopped in Marana, Arizona, and some of the drugs...

Arizona DPS troopers find fentanyl, cocaine, heroin hidden in secret compartment

Arizona state troopers arrested two people after finding more than 30 pounds of illegal drugs during a traffic stop last week.

2 hours ago

Traffic is backed up on Interstate 10 in Phoenix backed up after a pedestrian was struck and killed...

Pedestrian struck, killed on EB Interstate 10 approaching Broadway Curve in Phoenix

A pedestrian was struck and killed on Interstate 10 in Phoenix on Monday morning, backing up rush hour traffic for miles, authorities said.

3 hours ago

Smoke is visible at the scene of a deadly crash in Mesa, Arizona, in this image from an Arizona Dep...

2 dead after passenger van hits wall, bursts into flames on East Valley freeway ramp

Two people were killed in a fiery crash on an East Valley freeway exit ramp on Sunday night, authorities said.

4 hours ago

Jesus Castillo-Ordonez mugshot...

Man accused in west Phoenix murder, also linked to November armed robbery

A man was arrested in connection to a murder and armed robbery in west Phoenix, authorities said.

5 hours ago

The holidays are here and with that can come a certain level of stress. A Valley health expert has ...

Balin Overstolz McNair

Valley health expert gives tips on reducing holiday stress

The holidays are here and with that can come a certain level of stress. A Valley health expert has tips to take pressure off yourself and loved ones.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) wants to help Valley residents address back, neck issues through awake spine surgery

As the weather begins to change, those with back issues can no longer rely on the dry heat to aid their backs. That's where DISC comes in.



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.

Widow of Daniel Shaver opens up about Mesa officer’s not guilty verdict