Police were called over reports of a man with a gun in a legal carry state, and within minutes of their arrival, they opened fire on the man—even though he posed no threat, was complying with their commands to the best of his ability, and was even crying and begging the officers to spare his life. In response, the National Rifle Association has been eerily silent.
The organization’s website defines the NRA as “America’s foremost defender of Second Amendment rights,” and paints the picture of an association that has been committed to educating and protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights since the 1870s. However, the NRA also notes that it is “widely recognized today as a major political force,” and it appears that politics are keeping the NRA from defending the Second Amendment rights of Americans who are killed by police.
As journalist Radley Balko noted on Twitter, “The insanely heavy-handed police response to Daniel Shaver came after someone reported seeing him with a rifle. (it was a pellet gun). Arizona is open carry, including for long guns. So the NRA will denounce this verdict and demand better training for Mesa police, right?“
The insanely heavy-handed police response to Daniel Shaver came after someone reported seeing him with a rifle. (it was a pellet gun).
Arizona is open carry, including for long guns.
So the NRA will denounce this verdict and demand better training for Mesa police, right?
— Radley Balko (@radleybalko) December 8, 2017
Daniel Shaver, 26, was shot and killed by police in Mesa, Arizona, on Jan. 18, 2016. The father of two was staying at a hotel on a business trip for his job as a pest control specialist, and he was accompanied by two pellet rifles that were secured in cases, which he used for work.
Shaver invited two other people to his hotel room, where they spent the evening drinking and playing video games. At some point, police received a call saying that they saw someone pointing a rifle out of Shaver’s hotel room window, and officers responded with force.
The full Body Cam footage that documented the time between when officers arrived at the hotel, to when they shot and killed Shaver was only recently released. It shows a horrific scene in which a sobbing man begs for his life and attempts to follow every command, while a police officer points an AR-15 at him with the words “You’re Fucked” etched into the side of the rifle.
“Young man, you are not to move. You are to put your eyes down, look down at the carpet. You are to keep your fingers interlaced behind your head you are to keep your feet crossed,” Officer Philip Brailsford said. “If you move, we are going to consider that a threat, and we are going to deal with it and you may not survive it, do you understand me?”
“Yes sir,” Shaver replied.
After he ordered the woman who was in the room with Shaver to kneel, put her hands in the air, and crawl towards officers where they appear to arrest her, Brailsford ordered Shaver to kneel, and then yelled for him to keep his legs crossed.
“I’m sorry,” Shaver said, putting his hands behind his back.
“Hands up in the air!” Brailsford yelled. “You do that again we’re shooting you, do you understand?”
“Please, do not shoot me,” Shaver said, keeping his hands in the air.
Shaver continued to follow Brailsford’s instructions, and the officer again warned, “Your hands go back in the small of your back or down, we are going to shoot you, do you understand me?”
“Yes sir,” Shaver said, sobbing.
Brailsford then ordered Shaver to crawl towards him, and as the man followed orders, he reached to pull up the waistband of his shorts, and the officer opened fire.
Brailsford fired five consecutive shots, striking and killing Shaver instantly. The police report noted that the “shots were fired so rapidly that in watching the video at regular speed, one cannot count them.”
Daniel Shaver was not armed as he made every attempt possible to comply with the officer’s demands. The two pellet guns he used for work were found in his hotel room, locked in cases, and there was never any point during his encounter with the police officers where he threatened to harm them, or anyone else.
As The Free Thought Project reported, Philip Brailsford was initially charged with second-degree murder in March 2016, and then acquitted of all charges last week by a jury that spent just six hours deliberating the verdict. This comes after Brailsford’s lawyers argued that it would be “extremely unfair” to show the Body Cam footage of the shooting to the jury.
It was not until after Brailsford had been aquitted that the Body Cam footage was released to the public in its entirety. Despite the fact that the cruel shooting has received national attention, the NRA has remained silent, and has made no attempt to defend Daniel Shaver’s Second Amendment rights.