Just over a week after Daniel Shaver’s parents filed a lawsuit against the Arizona police department that shot and killed their unarmed son, his widow also filed a lawsuit.
This one for $75 million in damages.
Laney Sweet filed her lawsuit Tuesday against the Mesa Police Department, including Philip “Mitch” Brailsford, the cop who killed her husband with an AR-15 with the words, “You’re Fucked” inscribed on it.
Also mentioned in the lawsuit is the hotel company where the shooting took place.
According to the Associated Press:
Sweet filed her lawsuit against the city of Mesa, the team of officers who responded to the hotel call, and La Quinta Holdings, the parent company of the hotel in question.
Sweet alleges the leader of the team of officers gave confusing commands to Shaver while he was on the ground, encouraged overly aggressive reactions from his subordinates and handled the call as if there was an imminent threat of an active shooter.
The lawsuit said the hotel staff members who knew Shaver could have told officers that he wasn’t a threatening person and therefore could have lowered officers’ expectations about the risks at the hotel. Sweet also alleged that officers should have gathered more information about the call before approaching Shaver.
The incident took place in January 18, 2016 as Shaver was inside a fifth-floor hotel room with a couple of acquaintances showing them a pellet gun he used in his pest control business.
At one point, one of the men in the room pointed the pellet gun out the window, which led to people downstairs calling police, who arrived with guns drawn, ordering people out of the room.
Shaver, who was barefoot and wearing shorts and a t-shirt, was ordered to come crawling towards the officers, who all had their guns trained on him.
“Please don’t shoot me,” Shaver said according to a witness, who was also ordered to crawl towards police.
But Mesa Police Sergeant Charles Langley never gave him that assurance.
“There is a very severe possibility that if you make another mistake you are going to get shot,” Langley said according to prosecutor Susie Charbel as she read the transcript of the body cam footage in court.
Shaver then tried to ask a question.
“Shut up. I’m not here to be tactful and diplomatic with you. You listen, you obey.”
But as he kept crawling towards the officers, his shorts kept slipping off, which is what made Brailsford fear for his life and open fire.
Brailsford, the son of an internal affairs cop, described it as a “terrifying” experience.
Brailsford is still facing second-degree murder charges and is expected to go to trial later this year.
Keep up with updates on this case by following the Justice for Daniel Shaver Facebook page.