Eight million dollar settlement reached in police killing of unarmed man

December 1, 2022

The Arizona Republic has reported that the city of Mesa, Arizona has reached a multimillion dollar settlement with the widow of an unarmed man who was shot there by police in 2016.

Police shot man five times as he crawled on the ground

The agreement was reached earlier this month with Laney Sweet, and it required a "dismissal of all claims with prejudice" so as to prevent her from bringing suit again in the future.

Sweet was married to Daniel Shaver, a man who was visiting Mesa for a business trip when police were called to the hotel he was staying at.

The Republic noted that Shaver was spotted with the air rifle that he used for his pest control job and was confronted in the hotel by six officers from the Mesa Police Department, including Philip "Mitch" Brailsford.

In shocking bodycam footage which subsequently went viral, Shaver was ordered to crawl on the ground as he begged the law enforcement personnel not to shoot him.

However, Shaver could at one point be seen moving his hand towards his waistband, after which Brailsford killed him with five shots from a rifle.

While Brailsford was subsequently fired from the Mesa Police Department and charged with second-degree murder, he would later be acquitted by a jury and have his benefits restored.

DOJ opened investigation into shooting

The Republic reported in 2018 that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had opened an investigation into Shaver's killing and had subpoenaed.

Sweet was quoted as telling the publication that she would like to see federal criminal charges brought against the officers involved in her husband's death and "bring justice where the state of Arizona has failed."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the city confirmed that a settlement had been reached with Sweet but declined to comment on the agreement's details.

The libertarian website Reason noted that this is the second lawsuit to arise from Shaver's shooting as Mesa had earlier reached a $1.5 million settlement with his parents.

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