Local Woman Receives $8 Million Settlement After Police Shooting


Daniel Shaver with his children | Image by WFAA

The family of a North Texas man killed by a police officer in Mesa, Arizona, in 2016 will receive $8 million in a settlement with the city of Mesa.

Daniel Shaver from Granbury was shot five times by a police officer in the hallway of the La Quinta Inn. He was unarmed.

“I feel like I’m coming out of a six-and-a-half-year war,” Laney Sweet, Shaver’s widow, said.

Sweet said the settlement will help ensure a future for her family, especially her 13-year-old and 10-year-old daughters. She also said the settlement will bring some “accountability and justice.”

Police were called to the inn in Mesa after guests reported seeing a man in the window with a rifle. Although there were pellet guns in his room related to his pest control business, he did not have a weapon with him at the time of the shooting.

Police ordered Shaver to his knees inside the hotel room hallway. Shaver was reportedly intoxicated at the time.

Body camera footage shows him begging the officer not to shoot him. But he was shot when reaching for his waistband as he was crawling.

Philip Brailsford, the Mesa police officer who shot Shaver, was charged with second-degree murder in the killing but was acquitted in 2017.

Sweet said the federal Department of Justice currently has an open investigation into the killing.

“What we want to see is justice on the federal level with the DOJ announcing federal charges,” she said.

Sweet said she was conflicted about settling the case. She had hoped it would go to trial to bolster a potential federal case and to aid other victims of police brutality.

But ultimately, she chose to settle because the ongoing legal battle was taking a physical and mental toll on her children, she suggested.

“This is the highest verdict for a deceased victim in the state of Arizona, so that sets the bar in Arizona higher up for future victims,” Sweet said.

Included in the settlement was the agreement that the claims in Sweet’s lawsuit be dismissed “with prejudice.”

Previously, Shaver’s parents had also settled with the police department for $1.5 million last year.

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