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'Sham criminal trial': Daniel Shaver's widow says more justice needed after $8 million settlement with Mesa

Shaver was shot five times, including twice in the back, by former police officer Philip Brailsford at a Mesa hotel in 2016.

MESA, Ariz. — The City of Mesa has agreed to an $8 million settlement for the widow and children of Daniel Shaver, a man shot and killed by a Mesa police officer in 2016.

Shaver's widow, Laney Sweet, said that while the settlement will ease her family's financial burdens, it does not erase the sudden loss of Shaver in their lives.

"This settlement does nothing to cure the blatant lack of accountability by all involved since the night of Daniel’s death, which stands as an irredeemable blight on the criminal justice system," Sweet said in a statement.

Shaver, who was unarmed, was shot to death by now-former Mesa police officer Philip Brailsford in a hotel hallway. A medical examiner's autopsy showed that Shaver was shot five times, including two rounds that entered the back of his neck and the back of his left shoulder.

Body-camera video of the scene showed Shaver crawling on his hands and knees toward officers while crying and begging for his life. Five other officers were in the hotel hallway, but Brailsford was the only one who fired shots at Shaver.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Ex-Mesa officer Brailsford found not guilty of second-degree murder

Brailsford went to trial charged with second-degree murder in 2017. A jury found him not guilty.

Brailsford was fired by the Mesa Police Department two months after the shooting, but was rehired by the department in 2018 and was allowed to file for accidental disability retirement benefits. He was then approved to receive a nearly $31,000-a-year pension, after which he retired.

READ MORE: Mesa cop fired, rehired and then retired with $31,000-a-year pension

"The failure and injustice of Daniel Shaver’s killing and the resulting sham criminal trial, which made a mockery of the notion of Justice predictably ended in no conviction and to this day casts an ugly shadow over this settlement," Sweet said.

"As this chapter closes, we call upon the Department of Justice to swiftly proceed with its ongoing investigation and announce the federal criminal charges of officers involved, and bring justice where the state of Arizona has failed."

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