Police officers are accused of committing crimes on a daily basis, but rarely are they ever faced with any consequences for engaging in these illegal acts. Many of the cases filed against officers are often thrown out or completely disregarded, even where there is evidence to prove they were guilty. But, as time prevails, we continue to see a lack of justice for officers who commit crimes but get to walk away- free from guilt, free from charges, and free from facing any sort of penalty. In fact, some police officers even have the luxury of returning to their department after an investigation has been concluded where they resume their position and continue their lives as though they haven’t affected another’s.
Take former Arizona police officer Mitchell Brailsford. He was recently acquitted of murder, a charge that could have placed him behind bars for 25 years. What does it mean when a person is “acquitted of charges?” Simply put, it means that the person who was charged with a crime is freed from being convicted, hence, their name is cleared of the charge.
But, like many other cases involving police shootings, this one involving Brailsford may still have you feeling a bit unsure as to whether the verdict was the appropriate choice for this case. In the footage caught on the officer’s police body cam, we see Brailsford holding his weapon faced at Daniel Shaver, who is seen on the ground, submitting to officer commands with his hands in the air. After being instructed to move toward the officer, he appears to reach to lift his pants up, but Brailsford claimed he was under the impression he was reaching for a weapon.
Brailsford shot his rifle at Shaver.
Although the officer may have had a reason to believe Shaver had a weapon, he could have handled the matter in a different way that would have led to a different outcome. Officers were initially called to the hotel because another guest complained they saw a man waving what looked like a gun around outside of his window. It just so happened to be a pellet gun, something Shaver used in his line of work, working for a pest control company.
As a result of the shooting, Shaver died.
When the case was taken before a court, Brailsford claimed he was “terrified for the safety of officers and a woman who was in the hallway,” which was highlighted on the NBC News site. Jurors agreed to acquit Brailsford of murder after watching the video footage that highlighted the incident. While some might agree with the outcome, the attorney representing Shaver’s family believes that the “justice system miserably failed.” The family decided to file wrongful death lawsuits against the city of Mesa.
While this particular case could have ended differently, preferably with Shaver still alive, others who are victims of police brutality are urged to bring their claims forward in an attempt to receive justice for the wrongdoing. Because of the complexity that is often associated with these types of cases, you will need a qualified police brutality attorney to help you get through this. USAttorneys.com is available to find you a local lawyer in your area today.