Unarmed man’s death ‘an execution’ of Arizona officer, widow says

Laney Sweet, on the right, is the wife of Daniel Shaver, left, who was shot and killed last year by an Arizona police officer.


An unarmed Texas man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Arizona, a controversial, seen by many on video-recorded the killing of the victim was of ” an execution,” the man’s wife said this week, adding she felt “betrayed” by members of the jury, who acquitted the cop of the murder.

Laney Sweet said her husband, Daniel Shaver, 26, of Granbury, was carried out in 2016, while he begged for his life. Arizona police in the Phoenix area, a suburb of Mesa, dismissed Officer Philip Mitchell Brailsford, 27, after the shooting.

“I have fought for two years and scream. Finally, now, it took people watching my husband die a very horrible, inhumane death for people,” Sweet told CBS News Tuesday.


Video of the incident showed officers ordered the Shaver leaving his hotel room, lay face-down in a hall and to refrain from making sudden, unexpected moves — or the risk to be shot down.

Shaver, sobbing, as he begged the police not to kill him, was ordered to crawl in the direction of the agents. As he pushed to the front, Shaver reaches in the direction of the band of his pants. Brailsford said he fired his gun because he believed Shaver picked up a gun in his waistband. Later, however, the researchers found the Shaver was unarmed. Two pellet guns in connection with his pest-control job were later found in his hotel room.

Philip Mitchell Brailsford, 27, was acquitted of the criminal liability of past Thursday in the shooting death of Daniel Shaver.

(Mesa Police)

“It was a performance,” Sweet said. “You had a man begging for his life, and he was shot five times for what? For his elbow coming too high? For in the war? For the rules? Why did he deserve to die? That he did not.”

Video of the shooting was released to the public Thursday after Brailsford was found not guilty by the jury.

“I just don’t understand how someone can watch that video and then say ‘not guilty,’ that this is justified,” Sweet said. “That Daniel deserved this and that Philip Brailsford doesn’t deserve to be held responsible for his actions.”


Sweet told CBS News they believed that the reason Brailsford shot her husband was because of how he was trained.

“I think this goes back to the Mesa Police training, that this really is the way they are trained,” Sweet said.

Sweet said that the incident has affected her family. The couple has two young daughters, including an 8-year-old, Sweet said: “now needs psychiatric help.

“She tried to choke herself while she in school [Monday] and said to her friend that she wanted to die,” Sweet said. “So I have the whole evening with her in the hospital, her psychiatric help.”

Love said that her daughter told her she did it “with her father.”

Sweet and Shaver parents have filed separate wrongful death lawsuits against the city of Mesa. The widow has also asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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