Another jurisdiction in which “being unarmed and failing to perfectly comply with elaborate, arbitrary demands not reasonably related to security made by a police officer” is a capital offense with no due process:
After the officer involved was acquitted of second-degree murder charges, officials in Arizona publicly released graphic video showing Daniel Shaver crawling on his hands and knees and begging for his life in the moments before he was shot and killed by police in January 2016.
Shaver died in one of at least 963 fatal police shootings in 2016, according to a Washington Post database. And his death was one of an increasing number of such shootings to prompt criminal charges in the years since the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Mo. following the death of Michael Brown. Yet charges remain rare, and convictions even more so.
The shooting, by Philip “Mitch” Brailsford, then an officer with the Mesa Police Department, occurred after officers responded to a call about a man allegedly pointing a rifle out of a fifth-floor window at a La Quinta Inn. Inside the room, Shaver, 26, had been doing rum shots with a woman he had met earlier that day and showing off a pellet gun he used in his job in pest control.
The graphic video, recorded by Brailsford’s body camera, shows Shaver and the woman exiting the hotel room and immediately complying with commands from multiple officers. The video was shown in court during the trial, but it was released to the public after jurors acquitted Brailsford on Thursday.
After entering the hallway, Shaver immediately puts his hands in the air and lies down on the ground while informing the officer that no one else was in the hotel room.
“If you make a mistake, another mistake, there is a very severe possibility that you’re both going to get shot. Do you understand?” Sgt. Charles Langley yells before telling Shaver to “shut up.”
“I’m not here to be tactical and diplomatic with you. You listen. You obey,” the officer says.
For the next five minutes, officers give Shaver a series of instructions. First, an officer tells Shaver to put both of his hands on top of his head, then he instructs him to cross his left foot over his right foot.
“If you move, we’re going to consider that a threat and we are going to deal with it and you may not survive it,” Langley said.
The officer then has the woman crawl down the hallway, where she is taken into custody. Shaver remains on the ground in the hallway, his hands on his head.
Langley tells Shaver to keep his legs crossed and push himself up into a kneeling position. As Shaver pushes himself up, his legs come uncrossed, prompting the officer to scream at him.
“I’m sorry,” Shaver says, placing his hands near his waist, prompting another round of screaming.
“You do that again, we’re shooting you, do you understand?” Langley yells.
“Please do not shoot me,” Shaver begs, his hands up straight in the air.
At the officer’s command, Shaver then crawls down the hallway, sobbing. At one point, he reaches back — possibly to pull up his shorts — and Brailsford opens fire, striking Shaver five times.
The fact that eight people could look at this and acquit the officer is an excellent illustration of how we ended up with President Donald Trump.