Phoenix, AZ — In March of 2016, Mesa Police Officer Philip Brailsford was charged with second-degree murder for gunning down Daniel Shaver, an innocent husband, and father of two. The shooting was captured on body cam footage, part of which was released the following May. On Thursday, a jury, apparently blinded by the badge delivered a verdict of not guilty and the rest of the body camera footage was released—showing a cold-blooded murder.
Immediately after Brailsford was acquitted, police apologists took to Facebook to praise this killer cop and gloat in the death of an innocent father and husband.
How, exactly, people can claim Brailsford was justified in killing Daniel Shaver is a mystery to anyone who watched the video and is not entirely blinded by the thin blue line. The only possible explanation is a complete lack of empathy and ability to view Daniel Shaver as a human being.
When the victim is dehumanized—as in the case of Shaver—people can logically view their life as disposable. To see proof of this logic, one need only look at the utter lack of concern and care for the millions of children currently being starved to death in Yemen or the hundreds of thousands of murdered civilians in Iraq and Afganistan. These people have been constantly dehumanized by the mainstream media and their lives are seen as worthless to Americans. They are being systematically eliminated by the military-industrial complex and Joe Sixpack couldn’t care less.
This same tactic is used domestically to sell the idea that police are all “heroes” and they can do no wrong. This ideology is beaten into the consciousness of Americans ad nauseam: If a cop kills someone, then that person must have deserved it.
How else could police kill over a thousand people every year while most of society never even bat an eye?
To see proof of this mindset, one need only look at the Facebook page “blue lives matter” and the comments on posts praising killer cops.
BREAKING NEWS: Not Guilty! The prosecutor's ridiculous argument didn't fly with the jury.
“Omg with All the Police shootings, ambushes, etc etc . Some of You have the Audacity to Criticize this Officer….They thought this guy had a gun tucked in his shorts, as he reached behind his waist you morons!!! If you haven’t walked in an Officer’s Shoes, Shut The Hell Up,” wrote Mary in response to Brailsford’s verdict.
To illustrate just how dehumanized some of the public’s view of Daniel Shaver was, one person called him a ‘perp’ to justify his murder.
“Officer was right to fire on subject. Perp reached behind his back as though reaching for a weapon. Officer was in the right,” wrote William.
Shaver had committed no crime. He had perpetrated nothing.
This is Daniel Shaver. For almost two years I've been trying to raise awareness for his death. I'm glad everyone is…
Not only did the fans of Blue Lives Matter fail to see Shaver, an innocent father—who had done absolutely nothing illegal that night—as the victim but they actually thought Brailsford was the victim because he was fired.
“Now give his damn job back with back pay!!! Another victim to Obama bs blaming the police for everything,” Clay wrote.
“Action always beats reaction. Why is it only cops understand this? If he wasn’t obeying the lawful orders and was stupid enough to reach to his waste then he got what he deserved. Also sounds like the PD threw this officer under a bus to save face. Sucks when your agency doesn’t stand behind a good shoot. Seems to happen way to much these days,” another person wrote.
To the person above, sending a SWAT team to an innocent man’s hotel room and murdering him in cold blood as he begged for his life is “good.”
Notice how Daniel Shaver’s name is not mentioned in any of the comments, only the fact that he was a “perp” or a “suspect.” This is no accident. If Daniel Shaver is seen as an innocent father who had committed no crime and was killed for no reason, the facade crumbles.
To illustrate just how strong this blind support of police actually is, we can look at another post on the page Blue Lives Matter in which fans expressed their remorse for Michael Slager being sentenced to 20 years in prison.
“Completely innocent,” wrote Steven. “The video doesn’t show the fight where the suspect shot the officer with taser gun leads that stick in his leg as suspect runs. If suspect held the taser gun he could have still tased officer at any point while running. Absolute travesty of justice.”
Not only is Steven fabricating fiction to justify Walter Scott’s murder but, to highlight the sheer lack of thought in the above statement, we need only point out the first two words, “Completely innocent.” How is Michael Slager completely innocent if he actually pleaded guilty?
Now, for the good news. Despite the Blue Lives Matter page celebrating the death of innocent fathers at the hands of killers with badges, a large portion of American society refuses to buy into the propaganda.
As the following post on Reddit shows, which subsequently went uber-viral with 72,000 upvotes, not everyone thinks Brailsford is a hero.
There are undoubtedly brave men and women who put on that uniform every day and do good. However, blindly worshiping the police state and believing that all of these men and women are heroes and can do no wrong can have detrimental effects on society. The not guilty verdict for Mesa Police Officer Philip Brailsford and the subsequent celebration of Daniel Shaver’s death are two glaring examples of those effects.