- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - A judge refused Thursday to order the release of video of an unarmed man being shot and killed by a Mesa, Arizona, police officer.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sam Myers issued his decision in response to motions filed by attorneys for the widow of Daniel Shaver and several media outlets, including The Associated Press.

In the ruling, Myers said a protective order over the video should remain in place at least until a preliminary hearing later this month.

Myers found that prosecutors and defense attorneys for Officer Philip Mitchell Brailsford should have “an opportunity to present the videos in court with proper context, explanation and arguments.”

The judge also denied Laney Sweet’s demand that prosecutors turn over video of her husband’s Jan. 18 death to her.

Attorney Mark Geragos, who represents Sweet, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Shaver was killed outside his hotel room after someone reported seeing a man with a rifle. He and a woman were ordered to crawl toward officers in the hotel hallway. He tearfully pleaded for officers not to shoot him moments before Officer Brailsford opened fire, according to a police report.

Brailsford, who has since been fired for several policy violations, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

The AP and other media outlets had pressed for the video to be shared on grounds that it is a public record. Myers said the disclosure of police reports surrounding the shooting partially addressed the interests raised by media.

David Bodney, the attorney representing the media coalition, said he is cautiously optimistic that the judge could reach a different conclusion at the May 16 preliminary hearing.

“It is altogether possible that the court may vacate the protective order in less than two weeks,” Bodney said.

Brailsford’s defense attorney Craig Mehrens and prosecutors oppose the release of the police video before any trial proceedings. Mehrens had argued releasing it would make it impossible to find an impartial jury.

A spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide