Daniel Shaver may have had a few drinks in him when he was ordered out of his Arizona hotel room at gunpoint by a group of six screaming police officers last January.
The Mesa police officers were barking all kinds of orders; each one with a different demand, telling him to get down on his hands and knees and crawl towards them, to place his hands over his head, to sit on the floor and cross his legs in front of him.
The traveling businessman was trying to comply, but he was confused by their contradictory demands. The fact that he had been drinking with friends that evening did not help.
“Please don’t shoot me,” Shaver reportedly pleaded as he lifted his hands up, then down again.
But then one cop did, shooting him five times with an AR-15 rifle inscribed with the words “You’re Fucked.”
It was Philip “Mitch” Braisford’s personal gun, which he had personally inscribed, and it offered a glimpse into his personality.
Naturally, the 25-year-old Mesa police officer claimed he was in fear for his life, which was enough for internal affairs to find no wrongdoing on his part; the same investigative unit where his father had recently retired from as a lieutenant after working 19 years in the department.
But the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office charged him with second-degree murder several weeks later after reviewing footage from his body cam, a decision that left him “stunned” and “shocked,” especially considering the charge carries a minimum sentence of ten years in prison.
However, now he is being offered a plea deal of negligent homicide, which carries a minimum sentence of probation, a judicial “get out of jail, free” card that he would be stupid not to accept, according to Shaver’s wife, Laney Sweet, who is posting information on a Facebook page she created in support of her husband.
Braisford, who has not spent a minute in jail, has until May 16 to decide whether to accept the deal offered to him on Tuesday, said Sweet, who is already sensing that he will never spend a day in jail.
Especially considering he has not spent a minute in jail since he was charged with second-degree murder, the judge apparently believing his lawyer who said that he “honorably served his community as a Mesa police officer.”
But now the department is taking the steps to terminate him, not over the shooting, but because he had inscribed the profane phrase on his personal gun, which he was allowed to use over any department-issued gun.
Meanwhile, Shaver’s wife has already filed a $35 million wrongful death lawsuit.
And the body cam footage of Shaver’s killing has already been viewed by her attorney, even though it has not been released to the public.
Sweet posted the following on the Facebook page:
I was told Daniel’s hand never even touched his side or waistband. They said that while he was up on his knees with his hands above his head that he went to all four and it appeared that he could have lost balance. His right arm brushed beside his body. The officer shot him five times and Daniel fell forward and died instantly. Daniel had a few drinks with the two guests he was eating pizza with in his room, who were co-workers there for a conference.
Shaver was 26 and lived in Texas with his wife and children. He worked in pest control and was traveling for business with two pellet guns he routinely traveled with for his job.
He had dinner and drinks with a man and a woman and invited them back to his La Quinta hotel room on the fifth floor. At one point, he was showing them the pellet guns.
Meanwhile, two people sitting by the pool looked up and saw a man pointing a gun out the window, so they became alarmed and called police.
The two pellet guns were found inside his room after he had been killed outside his room.