Warning: Distressing Content
An Arizona police officer who was fired for fatally shooting an unarmed man was rehired so he could receive a special pension.
Officer Philip Brailsford, 28, shot Daniel Shaver, 26, in the hallway of a hotel in 2016 after police were called with reports a man was pointing a rifle out of a window.
It was later revealed the ‘rifle’ was a pellet gun the 26-year-old used for his pest-control work, and he had been showing it to other guests in his room.
Warning: This video contains scenes some viewers may find disturbing:
The police officer shot Shaver five times in the hallway with a semi-automatic weapon, with the victim seen on bodycam footage begging officers not to fire as he followed their instructions.
Mr Shaver did not have the pellet gun in his possession when he was killed by Brailsford, who was subsequently fired after the incident for violations of department policy, ABC News reports.
An internal-affairs investigation found that Brailsford had violated the police department’s policies by engraving ‘you’re f*cked’ on his department-approved rifle, according to the Arizona Republic.
The police officer also reportedly engraved ‘Molon labe’, a Greek classical expression of defiance which loosely translates to ‘come and take them’, on his gun.
Brailsford was later charged with murder, although he was acquitted at trial in 2017; his lawyers argued he was responding appropriately according to his training after Shaver reached for his waistband.
The police officer claimed he believed there was a concealed firearm in his waistband, although no weapon was found on his body.
In 2018, Brailsford signed an agreement with his former employer, the City of Mesa, which allowed him to be temporarily hired so he could apply for an accidental disability pension and medical retirement.
Records seen by the Arizona Republic show Brailsford was reinstated for 42 days last August so he could make the application, however a police spokesperson told the newspaper he ‘was not in any way fulfilling a capacity as a police officer’ during this time.
His lawyer said Brailsford had post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stemming from the shooting of Mr Shaver and the subsequent criminal trial.
The now-technically retired police officer is eligible for a monthly payment of $3,660 for the rest of his life.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).