Mesa Police fire officer charged with murder
MESA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - The Mesa Police Department officer who is accused of murdering down a man in January has lost his job. Internal affairs investigators say Philip Brailsford shot and killed Daniel Shaver while responding to a call at a La Quinta Inn.
Shaver's family has wanted the officer fired since the shooting a little over three months ago at the inn. The officer has entered a not-guilty plea, and his attorney said the firing was in his words, a rush to judgment.
25-year-old Philip Brailsford was informed in a letter that he was fired from the police force following an investigation into the shooting of 26-year-old Shaver, who was unarmed.
Now Brailsford's attorney Craig Mehrens called the firing, pure politics.
"Rushing to judgment, even though the county attorney's office has not yet concluded that probably cause existed to believe that a crime had been committed," said Craig Mehrens.
Mesa Police got a call of a man pointing a rifle out of a window. Officers responded and say Shaver was unarmed and crawling towards officers when he was shot as he reached toward his waistline. The incident was captured on Brailsford's body camera, but Mehrens says Mesa Police Commanders including Chief John Meza, originally said the shooting was justified.
"This is what is so strange here, that the county attorney's office is proceeding cautiously, and the City of Mesa and Chief Meza is rushing to judgment. This is very, very strange," he said.
Shaver's widow Laney Sweet has hired high-profile attorney Mark Geragos, who has represented clients such as Chris Brown, Michael Jackson, and Scott Peterson. Earlier this month Sweet filed a 35-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Mesa.
Brailsford now has 15 days to appeal his firing; something Mehrens says they plan to do.