(TMU) — Philip Brailsford is a former Arizona Police officer who was acquitted for the murder of an innocent man in 2017. Brailsford walked free even though body camera footage clearly showed that he had no reason to fire his weapon, ultimately murdering Daniel Shaver.
Now, to add insult to injury, the officer was temporarily rehired by the city in order to receive disability. Brailsford was approved for medical retirement after claiming that killing a man gave him PTSD. He will now receive over $2,500 per month for the rest of his life.
The city of Mesa has also agreed to spend up to $3 million defending him in court and paying lawsuit settlements resulting from the murder. Brailsford will likely have no problem securing another job in law enforcement after the department gave him a “neutral recommendation,” which will show on future employment references. Although thanks to medical retirement, he will never have to work another day in his life if he doesn’t want to.
Daniel Shaver was staying at a hotel while traveling for business and had a pellet gun with him that he showed to another guest at the hotel. The Mesa Police were called after someone saw him with the pellet gun, even though Arizona is an open-carry state where gun ownership is fairly commonplace. Furthermore, Shaver had a job as an exterminator and used the pellet gun for killing pests.
Officer Brailsford soon arrived on the scene to investigate the report. However, instead of investigating, Brailsford immediately escalated the situation and told Shaver to leave the hotel room and go into the hallway, on his knees. At that point, Shaver was not holding the pellet gun and Brailsford gave him a series of conflicting and confusing commands, essentially telling the man to crawl while keeping his hands up.
“If you make a mistake, another mistake, there is a very severe possibility you’re both going to get shot … 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,” the officer can be heard saying in the video.
Brailsford can be heard giving Shaver conflicting orders, such as “do not put your hands down for any reason,” followed by, “your hands go back in the small of your back or down, we are going to shoot you, do you understand me?”
As Shaver crawled toward the officer, he instinctively reached back to pull up his drooping pants. That’s when Brailsford opened fire, shooting him multiple times from a short distance away.
There was disturbing evidence in the case that the jury was not allowed to see before making their decision, including the fact that the officer had a very threatening message inscribed on the gun he used to take Shaver’s life.
Two words were written on the dust cover of the AR-15 rifle that was used in the murder, and those words were “You’re fucked.”
A statement from the city of Mesa obtained by ABC15 explained how Brailsford got the deal:
“Philip ‘Mitch’ Brailsford was terminated by the Mesa Police Department on March 21, 2016. Mr. Brailsford, through his attorney, requested an appeal of his dismissal on March 22, 2016. The appeal was held in abeyance until the criminal case against Mr. Brailsford was concluded. On December 7, 2017, Mr. Brailsford was acquitted. On August 23, 2018, a settlement agreement between the City of Mesa and Mr. Brailsford allowed him to file for accidental disability and a medical retirement with the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System Local Board. This agreement eliminated the need for a Mesa Personnel Appeals Board hearing. During the time that Mr. Brailsford was making his application for medical retirement, he was not paid and was not assigned any police officer duties. The one-year timeframe to apply for an accidental disability pension began for Mr. Brailsford once the trial concluded. The PSPRS Local Board determined that Mr. Brailsford met the qualifications for medical retirement citing information provided by multiple independent medical professionals. Mr. Brailsford is now medically retired through PSPRS.”