$8 million settlement funded in 2016 police shooting of Daniel Shaver in a Mesa hotel
The $8 million settlement between Mesa and Laney Sweet for the death of her husband has finally been funded, according to Sweet's attorney.
The settlement was originally reached back in November 2022, nearly seven years after former Mesa police Officer Philip "Mitch" Brailsford killed Daniel Shaver, shooting him five times in a hotel hallway in 2016.
Sweet had sued Mesa as well as the officers present for her husband's "wrongful death and violation of civil rights on behalf of herself, her children, and her husband's estate," the firm said.
On Monday, attorney Karen Moskowitz with the Richards & Moskowitz law firm released a statement detailing that the settlement had now been funded.
"After a lengthy battle through the federal courts, Laney recently reached a settlement with the defendants. The $8 million settlement being paid to resolve the claims against Mesa is among the largest publicly reported for any killing of a citizen by an Arizona police officer. In fact, it is the highest settlement for a deceased victim in Arizona and more than twice the amount of Mesa’s highest settlement to date," the firm said in the statement.
Prior to this, Shaver's parents were able to settle with Mesa in 2021 for $1.5 million.
In January 2016, Mesa police officers responded to a hotel after receiving reports of a man pointing a rifle out of the window.
Body camera footage from the incident showed Shaver, in town on a work-related trip from Texas, being confronted by six Mesa police officers in the hallway of the hotel. Shaver can be seen on his knees, unarmed and pleading for his life. Visibly traumatized, Shaver tries to comply with officers, crawling toward them as directed.
The footage then shows, as Shaver moved his hand toward his waistband, Brailsford shoots Shaver five times. According to the police report, Shaver's motion indicated he may have been armed.
Officers later found a pellet gun inside the hotel room that Shaver used as a pest-control worker.
Brailsford was charged by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office with second-degree murder in 2016 but was found not guilty by a jury just a year later.
Department of Justice investigation
In 2018, it was confirmed by the Mesa Police Department that the U.S. Department of Justice had opened a civil rights investigation into Brailsford, subpoenaing all documentation pertaining to the shooting.
At this time, no information surrounding the investigation has been released, nor has the city provided an update into the matter.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: $8 million settlement funded in 2016 murder of Daniel Shaver