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Wife of man killed in Arizona police shooting speaks out

A graphic video of a controversial police shooting in 2016 was released last week. The officer was fired for violating police procedures but acquitted of charges that he murdered 26-year-old Daniel Shaver. On Tuesday, Shaver’s widow spoke out in her first interview since the verdict.

“I’ve been fighting for two years and screaming. Finally, now, it took people watching my husband die a very horrible inhumane death for people to care,” his wife, Laney Sweet, said.

For two years, the video of Shaver’s final moments was sealed from the public.

“It was an execution,” Sweet said. “You had a man begging for his life, and he was shot five times for what? For his elbow coming up too high? For being confused? For being compliant? Why did he deserve to die? He didn’t.”

The video was released last Thursday, after jurors found officer Philip Brailsford not guilty.

“I just don’t understand how anybody could watch that video and then say, ‘not guilty,’ that this is justified that Daniel deserved this, and that Philip Brailsford doesn’t deserve to be held accountable for his actions,” Sweet said.


CBS News

“What do you make of him saying he had a split second to decide what to do when he thought your husband was pulling a gun?” CBS News asked.

“I think this goes back to the Mesa Police Department’s training, that this is really how they’re trained,” Sweet said.

Shaver had no gun on him, but police found two pellet rifles he used for his pest control job in his hotel room. Sweet said the hardest day of her life was telling her daughters their father wasn’t coming home. On Monday, she received a phone call from her 8-year-old’s school.

“She tried choking herself while she was at school, and told her friend that she wanted to die, so I spent all last evening with her in the hospital getting her psychiatric help,” Sweet said.

“What did Natalie say to you when you saw her?” CBS News asked. “She told me that she wanted to be with her dad,” Sweet replied.

Sweet said important information was not included in the trial, like the former officer’s past record of excessive force. She has filed a wrongful death civil suit and is calling the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.

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Daniel Shaver with his two daughters

CBS News

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