Jury finds ex-Mesa police officer Brailsford not guilty on murder charge

Brailsford in court

His lawyer, Michael Piccarreta, patted him on the back.

The 2016 shooting happened in a hotel where police were responding to a report of someone pointing a gun out a window.

In the video, Shaver is told by the officer to obey his commands and "not make a mistake" after he exits the room and gets down face-first on the floor. Shaver then apologizes and the officer says, "I didn't say this was a conversation".

Laney Sweet, Shaver's widow, and other family members left the courtroom without commenting.

Excerpts of Brailsford body-cam footage can be seen on YouTube; a judge ruled that the shooting sequence could be edited out of the public version. The other officers in the hallway did not fire on Shaver.

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As Shaver was ordered to crawl toward the officers on his hands and knees, Mesa police say Shaver made a motion toward his waistband. Brailsford fired his AR-15 five times, shooting and killing 26-year-old Shaver.

Shaver, who was unarmed, was pronounced dead at the scene. Brailsford told investigators he had felt threatened by the man.

Brailsford argued that he shot because he thought Shaver was reaching for a weapon.

The shooting came at a time past year when the American Civil Liberties Union and Black Lives Matter had been pressing police agencies around the country to ease up on deadly use-of-force tactics.

The Mesa Police Department fired Brailsford in March 2016. (Apparently, that hadn't been seen as a problem before the shooting.) He had been with the force nearly three years. Brailsford, who is no longer on the force, was on trial for 2nd degree murder and reckless manslaughter - until the jury returned not guilty verdicts Thursday on both counts.

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