- What a terrifying video. I am literally shaking.
I wasn’t at the trial, but I will break my usual rule by saying that this jury, which acquitted the officer of murder charges, does not deserve the benefit of the doubt, because there is no doubt. I cannot see any path by which the actions of the officer in shooting Shaver can be called reasonable, or anything but murder.
- Brailsford said he thought Shaver might have been reaching for a weapon. If he wasn’t lying, and I’ll assume he wasn’t, then he was paranoid, and so devoid of normal senses of perception that the police force was negligent all owing him to carry a gun, or to be on the force at all.
- How could it have not been clear that Shaver was terrified? Or that he was not desperately trying to follow the officer’s instructions?
Are officers in Mesa trained to talk like that? I assume that they are trained NOT to talk like that, which can only be expected to escalate panic and anxiety and cause the situation to go out of control.
- Michael Piccarreta, Brailsford’s attorney, convinced jurors that his client acted as reasonably, as a police officer, considering the totality of circumstances. That means that Brailsford acted like any reasonable officer would have when he fire his AR-15 at a terrified young man crawling toward him as he had directed. The officer had been called because someone had been reported as pointing a rifle outside of hotel window. Obviously, Shaver had no rifle on him.
Piccarreta did one hell of a good job.
- Juries are reluctant to punish police officers who face death every day and who are dedicated to protecting us. They do not want to hold them to a strict standard by which a mistake or over-reaction in a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation results in a criminal conviction. That is understandable, fair, wise, and for the most part, right. There has to be a limit though. If this case wasn’t it, then I don’t know what would be.
This is the case Michael Brown’s shooting was falsely represented as being. This was “Hands Up! Don’t shoot!”
- Poor Shaver was white. A local writer opined,
“But if Shaver were black I suspect there would be activists talking loudly to the press and demonstrators forcing us to look very closely at policing policies in Mesa and the rest of the Valley, and causing politicians and law enforcement professionals to evaluate the systems they have in place for selecting officers and training them.”
Hmmm...seems like something’s missing from that assessment. What could it be? OH! I’ve got it!
If Shaver were black, the NAACP, Black Lives Matter, NFL players and colleges students, Charles M. Blow, Eugene Robinson, and many more pundits, plus Don Lemon and Joy Reid, would be telling us that Shaver was killed because he was black, and because police officers are racists. They would also be telling us that juries are racist, and won’t convict officers who kill unarmed blacks.
- In related news, former police officer Michael Slager, who virtually executed Walter Scott, a fleeing, unarmed suspect who was black, got a 20 year prison sentence yesterday.
Scott had more of a chance than Shaver did.
And I’m still shaking…