Arizona Town To Pay $8 Million to Widow of Daniel Shaver, Shot While Crawling Unarmed Toward Police

The Arizona Republic reports that the town of Mesa, Arizona, reached an $8 million settlement last week with the widow of Daniel Shaver. Shaver is the unarmed man who was fatally shot while crawling down a hallway on his hands and knees toward police officers, begging them not to shoot him.

In January 2016, Mesa police responded to a report of a man pointing a rifle out of a hotel window. It was in fact Shaver showing a pellet gun that he used at his exterminator job to a couple other hotel guests in his room.

Police ordered Shaver out of the hotel room and onto the ground, with his hands behind his head. But instead of handcuffing Shaver, officers—bizarrely—started barking confusing and contradictory orders at him to crawl toward them. As a clearly terrified and drunk Shaver tried to crawl toward the police, he appeared to reach toward his waistband to pull up his sagging shorts. A Mesa officer, Philip Mitchell Brailsford, shot Shaver five times with an AR-15, killing him.

The incident was part of a string of deadly police shootings of unarmed men caught on camera, including the killings of Philando Castille and Michael Slager. Shaver’s death brought national media attention and bipartisan outrage to Mesa. As David French wrote in National Review, “I have seen soldiers deal with al Qaeda terrorists with more professionalism and poise.”

This is the second large lawsuit settlement Mesa has paid out for Shaver’s death. According to the Arizona Republic, the town paid Shaver’s parents $1.5 million in a separate lawsuit.


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