December 11th, 2017

The killing of Daniel Shaver

The killing of Daniel Shaver by a police officer didn’t get much national coverage when it first happened two years ago in Arizona, or even during the trial of the officer. But post-trial, a video of the killing has been released, and it is so shocking that now the case has become national news.

At Red State, Patterico has come up with a theory that defends the police officer, but I don’t think it’s an especially convincing one. I have not watched the video because I have a tremendous reluctance to watch videos of any human being being killed. But I’ve read many descriptions, and it’s evident that the heart of the problem was the incredibly contradictory and nearly crazy instructions given to Shaver (who was drunk at the time), instructions that literally could not be followed:

Brailsford was called to a hotel in Mesa back in January of 2016 on reports that someone had been pointing a rifle out of a window. Daniel Shaver, very drunk at the time, had apparently been messing around with a few pellet guns that he used in his pest control job. Exceedingly stupid behavior on his part, but not deserving of the death penalty. Still, Brailsford and the other responding officers could not have known that they were pellet guns, so it’s understandable that they were on edge.

But this is where it gets not-so-understandable. Shaver emerges stumbling out of his hotel room. He’s told to get on the ground, and he immediately complies. Shaver attempts to follow every instruction shouted at him, but he has difficulty because the instructions make no sense. Here’s a verbatim transcript of everything Brailsford told Shaver to do, as he pointed his rifle at him and threatened repeatedly to kill him: “lie on the ground,” “put both hands on top of your head and interlace your fingers,” “take your feet and cross your left foot over your right foot,” “keep your feet crossed,” “put both hands flat in front of you” (while they’re on his head and interlaced?), “push yourself to a kneeling position” (have you ever tried to push yourself up while your arms are extended all the way in front of you?), “put both hands in the air,” “crawl towards me” (with his hands in the air?), “stop,” “crawl,” “keep your legs crossed” (while crawling?), “put your hands in the air,” “keep your legs crossed,” “crawl” (so he’s supposed to crawl again with his hands in the air and his legs crossed). In the midst of this flurry of hysterical, arbitrary commands, as Brailsford continually reminds Shaver that he’ll die if he “makes a mistake,” Shaver cries and begs for his life.

Then comes the fatal moment. As Shaver crawls, awkwardly and wobbly, trying to keep up with this deadly game of Simon Says, his pants begin to fall down. He reaches to pull them up and Brailsford immediately sprays him with bullets. Shaver followed his ridiculous instructions for five minutes and still wound up dead.

Of course, Brailsford’s defense was that Shavers [sic] reached for his waistband. Fine. But what was he worried about? That Shaver would pull a rifle from his basketball shorts? And even if he did have a gun, how was he going to pull it out and get off a shot from the crawling position?

However, the person giving those crazy impossible-to-follow orders was not the guy who killed Shaver. The guy talking was Sgt. Charles Langley, who retired from the police department a few months after the shooting. Both Langley (the officer talking) and Brailsford, the officer shooting, say they feared Shaver was reaching for a gun, but the shooter Brailsford hadn’t issued the ridiculous orders. I believe that it was actually Langley who caused Shaver’s death, but what could he be charged with, since he didn’t do the shooting? Negligent speech? I don’t think there is any crime that meets that description; he wasn’t yelling “fire” in a theater, he was just messing up the instructions to the suspect.

The whole situation is absolutely terrible. And it seems quite clear that Shaver was actually trying to obey the officer’s orders rather than defying him in any way.

One of the reasons we didn’t hear much about this case is that the video was suppressed by the court till after the trial was over, and it’s the video that is so very distressing. It’s also likely that if Shaver had been black the furor wouldn’t have waited for the video release; this could have been an even bigger story than Brown, since Shaver is clearly trying to comply and never attacked any officer.

Had Shaver been black and with the same set of facts, the shooting officer’s actions would have been ascribed to anti-black bigotry. But just because a person is black it does not mean that every error of judgment on the part of an officer, including a fatal error of judgment, is due to bigotry. Everyone in this story was white, as far as I know, and Shaver still ended up dead.

68 Responses to “The killing of Daniel Shaver”

  1. Frederick Says:

    One thing I learned from the discussion at Patterico is that there are people who can simultaneously hold the views that:

    A video depicting a weeping unarmed man, begging for his life, shot to death, should be carefully scrutinized and all possible benefit of the doubt be given before deciding his killer has done something wrong

    A man accused of sexual assault 40 years ago by single witnesses, unsupported by any other evidence but their own word, should be given no benefit of the doubt, and the allegations be treated as true

  2. miklos000rosza Says:

    I haven’t watched the video either, and don’t intend to, though I’ve read a close description of the action. Because of my years working in ER I tend to be “pro-police” but there’s no question that sometimes you get bad cops or cops who behave badly. I don’t understand why the judge excluded this material from the material, but I imagine that decision is now being widely addressed.

  3. miklos000rosza Says:

    “excluded this material from the trial”

    I mistyped. Sorry.

  4. Gordon Says:

    Neo, if you haven’t read The Rise of the Warrior Cop by Radley Balko of Reason magazine, you should. I can remember when cops were not trained to assume that everyone you meet wants to kill you.

    Every hotel room has a phone. Could they not have called the hotel desk, and had it patched into the room phone? “Hi, Sergeant Cop from Mesa PD. We have a report that you were aiming a rifle out of your window. Pellet gun? Why do you have a pellet rifle? Oh, you’re an exterminator? Okay, here’s what we need you to do. Unload the pellet gun. Then, when I tell you to, get on your knees, open the door just a crack, and slide the pellet gun out.” and so on. Aware of possible danger, but behaving in a reasonable manner to a citizen who has not committed any crime.

  5. Griffin Says:

    Frederick,

    Sadly Patterico is one of those that has gone so far around the bend that I have lost total interest in anything he has to say. Like Bret Stephens and a few others. I certainly don’t need someone to agree with my every opinion but when you seem to now oppose someone achieving many of the very policies that you have promoted for ages because of personality then I have little intellectual respect for you.

  6. Dave Says:

    I disagree, the police made a mistake but making a mistake is not murder. If you have watched the video then you would have noticed the moment the man was shot it seems like he reached his waist for something. remember the officer was very jumpy, the cops were called for bc supposed the man was waving his gun (turned out to be a pellet gun) around his room window, it was a tense moment, he was probably a rookie and the victim wasn’t exactly bright (don’t be talkative when dealing with cops, they would think you are trying to distract them for an ambush)

  7. Dave Says:

    this is the problem with charging police with murder, many of these tragedies were merely some incompetent cops making incompetent mistakes, there were no intentions for them to physically harm anyone and charging with them with murders will most likely get them acquitted as incompetent is not a crime and most charges are overreaches. They need to specifically draft new laws to target this type of police incompetence that results in live loss

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    Did anyone here say the police were guilty of murder? If so, I missed it.

    I said that Langley was guilty of negligent speech, although as far as I know there is no such crime.

    And the most Brailsford would be guilty of is negligent homicide, although he might not even be guilty of that. I see this as Langley’s fault primarily, and secondarily the jumpy Brailsford. But that doesn’t mean either Langley or Brailsford committed murder—they did not.

    The point is that this killing occurred because of contradictory instructions from police with which it was impossible to comply. Anyone could have done similarly to Shaver under similar stressful circumstances. Police have to have better judgment than to shoot anyone and everyone who fails to do exactly and precisely what they say, under stressful circumstances.

  9. Dave Says:

    Neo:

    The cop was charged of second degree of murder, your article gave me the impression that you weren’t happy with the verdict like the MSM so I jumped to conclusion that you believe the cop deserves a guilty verdict of all charges against him, I sincerely apologize.

  10. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I always give cops the benefit of the doubt but no way can this be objectively seen as anything less than criminal negligence, as it greatly exceeds simple incompetence. This isn’t a case of cops ‘just making a mistake’.

    Even a moron knows that you can’t demand that someone simultaneously ‘crawl and freeze’ i.e. perform two opposite actions at once.

    There’s not a cop in this nation that doesn’t know that once a suspect is laying on the ground with their legs crossed and hands interlaced upon their head, that it’s impossible for anyone to successfully go for a concealed gun. One cop approaches out of the line of fire to secure the suspect, while the other cop covers his partner.

    ALL orders past that point are pure BS. There was NO reason whatsoever to demand that Shaver then raise up and crawl toward them. Quite frankly, it raises the question of whether those two cops were looking for an excuse to shoot someone.

    BOTH cops are guilty of at the least, voluntary manslaughter. Their actions are indefensible.

  11. Griffin Says:

    I believe the shooter cop was fired for this also so hopefully this guy will never be in law enforcement again. Hopefully.

  12. Ann Says:

    Good piece by David French on this — “The Police Murder of Daniel Shaver”:

    Essentially, what the police told an innocent, law-abiding, intoxicated American was this: Follow my highly-specific, very strange instructions or die. There was no need to make him crawl. The police were in command of the situation. At no point is there a visible weapon. I have seen soldiers deal with al Qaeda terrorists with more professionalism and poise. When a man is prone, his hands are visible, and your gun is trained upon him, he is in your power. …

    Finally, I know that police have a dangerous job, but they’re not at war. As I noted above, it’s infuriating to see civilian police exercise less discipline than I’ve seen from soldiers in infinitely more dangerous situations. Not one of the men I deployed with would have handled a terrorist detention the way these officers treated American citizens.

  13. Dave Says:

    however, the instructions was not the reason the man was shot. the instructions were bad but lawful and if followed exactly no one would have got hurt. two freakish events happened, the man dropped his pants while crawling to the cops, foolishly enough to try to reach his waist to pull them back up, and a rookie cop (i presumed) who had zero pressure handling ability just shot the man outright. you can’t convict a man just for being unable to foresee everything. This is a freak situation that someone died but looking at it closely no one is fully responsible enough to deserve jail time.

  14. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    The instructions were the reason he got shot. They were unclear and contradictory, and he was trying to crawl (one of the instructions) and momentarily tried to pull up his pants as he was doing that. He got rattled because the instructions were so insane, and he forgot (or was never clear on) what they wanted. That’s because it actually wasn’t clear what they wanted. He was shot for not complying with instructions with which it was impossible to comply.

    You can’t crawl with your hands over your head. His hands had been over his head earlier. They just could have told him to stay like that, or get spread-eagled on the ground and stay there.

    I tend to agree that I’m not sure anyone should have served time. But that feels wrong, too. The situation was very bad, but there is no clear remedy. The people involved probably never should have been cops. They no longer are cops, but that doesn’t do Shaver any good.

  15. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Is this one of the places “jury nullification” should come in to play?

    I watched the video…that cop should never have been handed a loaded weapon. Clearly out of control & I bet wet his pants entering the building.

    Poor drunk bugger never had a chance from the word “go.”

  16. Dave Says:

    a person is perfectly capable to crawl with hands up. The first guy was doing it perfectly, I think the instruction was to raise his hands in the air, get on the knees, and walks toward the cops with the knee caps which is completely do able. you know like those old comedies with a comedian gluing shoes on the knee caps to pretend to be a dwarf… it is the second person who had problems following simple instructions who got him shot.

  17. Dave Says:

    Neo, the instructions were not the problem because the cops were giving the same instructions to two different persons, a woman and a man, the woman understood it and was successfully got to the cops with no problems. The man failed to see how the woman completed the task because he submerged his face completely to the ground, and failed to follow the very same instructions. watch the complete video.

  18. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    They were contradictory on the face of it. The fact that one person managed to comply well enough to avoid being killed does NOT mean they were not contradictory. My guess, also, is that they were not focusing on the woman nearly as much or regarding her as nearly as dangerous. The report that ended up with their being sent to the scene described a man with a rifle, not a woman:

    Inside Shaver’s hotel room, the woman saw a case and asked if it contained a musical instrument, the records said. Shaver opened the case and revealed a pellet gun and a dead sparrow.

    Shaver told the woman he was on a business trip with Walmart and that it was his job to kill all of the birds that get inside buildings, the report stated.

    The woman said Shaver and the other man were pointing the rifle out the window, and she and told them to stop as she was afraid they’d hurt someone because they were drinking.

    The emergency call to police came shortly after 9 p.m. after guests in the hotel pool area reported seeing a man point a rifle outside the fifth-floor window.

    The woman was given orders, too, but they were looking for a man and afraid that man was armed.

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    And by the way, I would not have been able to follow those instructions, and many people who are not young athletes would have trouble with them, as well (as would someone drunk, such as Shaver). Plus, that’s not the meaning of the word “crawl.” It does NOT mean “walk on your knees with your hands up.” It means to be low to the ground ordinarily on both hands and both knees: “to move in a prone position with the body resting on or close to the ground, as a worm or caterpillar, or on the hands and knees, as a young child. ”

    Here’s that description of the instructions again:

    Here’s a verbatim transcript of everything Brailsford told Shaver to do, as he pointed his rifle at him and threatened repeatedly to kill him: “lie on the ground,” “put both hands on top of your head and interlace your fingers,” “take your feet and cross your left foot over your right foot,” “keep your feet crossed,” “put both hands flat in front of you” (while they’re on his head and interlaced?), “push yourself to a kneeling position” (have you ever tried to push yourself up while your arms are extended all the way in front of you?), “put both hands in the air,” “crawl towards me” (with his hands in the air?), “stop,” “crawl,” “keep your legs crossed” (while crawling?), “put your hands in the air,” “keep your legs crossed,” “crawl” (so he’s supposed to crawl again with his hands in the air and his legs crossed). In the midst of this flurry of hysterical, arbitrary commands, as Brailsford continually reminds Shaver that he’ll die if he “makes a mistake,” Shaver cries and begs for his life.

  20. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Think about it. How hard is it to give contradictory instructions? It’s tough. About the only time you do it is to see if a trainee can manage confusion and distraction.
    IMO, contradictory instructions are SOP to cover for the possibility of a bad shoot. “He didn’t comply.”
    If the camera’s perspective is realistic, they were about three steps from sitting on him.
    Is there an excuse for a crime in which one demonstrates complete and utter cluelessness in matters for which one has been trained and paid?
    Isn’t there room here for “negligent” or “reckless” and some version of homicide?
    Could someone acting so stupidly and killing somebody else get away with this if a civilian?

  21. Gordon Says:

    I suspect the woman was less drunk, also.

    One of the ways in which field sobriety tests are performed is to give the subject odd, but specific instructions. “Put your heels together. Hold your right arm out to the side, finger extended. Tilt your head back. Bring your arm in front, and then bring your finger tip to your nose.”

    When you’re drunk, it’s hard to perform those instructions. You will bring your finger to your nose from the side, instead of front, for example. It’s a good thing they don’t usually have a rifleman covering you during the tests.

    I understand the cops didn’t want to step in front of the door to the room. But it didn’t seem to bother them to do so once they’d killed the guy. “Key card! Key card!” The sergeant was so busy being Tony Tactical he forgot that the guy on the floor was guilty of nothing at all.

    Was he reaching for a gun? He’s four feet away! Jump on him! You are well paid, with great benefits, endless opportunities for lucrative overtime, and you get to retire young with a sweet pension. Do your frickin’ job and stop acting like Barney Bad Ass.

  22. Dave Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBUUx0jUKxc

    This is the full version, two persons were stopped in the hallway, a woman and the victim. the woman was claim and was able to complete the task with no issues. she was completely ignored in the narrative because for the most part she was off the camera because the camera was focusing on the right side of the hallway, however you can see her keeping her arms in the air while walking on her kneecaps toward the cops with no problem around 2:36 in the video. The victim was acting completely hysterical out of fear and incapable to follow the very simple instructions.

  23. Dave Says:

    is “walk toward me on your kneecaps” comprehensible English? The most questionable word in the instructions is the word crawl, and the cop simply didn’t have the patient to change his words around to make it less contradictory and easier to understand. English is very problematic language let me tell you as someone with English as second language, most instructions i have encountered in my life (especially in medical settings) are contradictory.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    She wasn’t just ignored because she followed instructions. She was not who they were looking for in the first place. And most of the contradictory instructions to Shaver occurred AFTER she had already been taken away by police.

    Read the description here. It’s very detailed. I don’t think most people would have been able to comply.

    By the way, they were ordered out of the room; they were not encountered initially in the hall.

    Here’s the relevant part, from the report by a Mesa police officer who watched the video prior to its release to the public:

    Shaver could be partially seen walking from the alcove into the hallway a split second after Sgt. Langley shouted for them to stop. Shaver raised his hands in the air prior to any further command, round the alcove into the hallway and immediately dropped to his knees with his hands in the air facing the officers … Sgt. Lanley shouted for both of them to get on the ground. Shaver placed his hands in front of him and laid down on the ground on the south side of the hallway with his hands extended above his head. In the video, Shaver appeared to be wearing a dark colored shirt and dark shorts. No weapon was visible in the video, but also it was not clear Shaver did not have a weapon from the camera view. Shaver was, however, obviously compliant and offered no resistance at that point.

    Sgt. Langley asked Shaver if there was anyone else in the room and Shaver answered that there was no one else in the room … Sgt. Langley then calmly asked if both of them could understand him … Sgt. Langley then stated, “Alright, if you make another mistake, there is a very severe possibility you are both going to get shot, do you understand?”

    Shaver responded “Yes” to this question … Sgt. Langley then began to talk when Shaver started to ask a question by saying “What’s––”. Sgt. Langley told Shaver to shut up and stated that he was not there to be tactful and diplomatic with Shaver and they need to obey his commands. At that point, Shaver’s outstretched arms had both palms facing up so the officers could see his hands. As Sgt. Langley was saying they needed to obey his commands. Shaver moved both his arms in front of his face in a similar manner to what would occur when someone is lying on their stomach and intending to rest their head in their crossed arms. Sgt. Langley took note of this and asked Shaver if he had told Shaver to move. Shaver immediately moved his hand back out in front of him with his palms facing up and said, “I’m sorry. No, sir.”

    Sgt. Langley then ordered Shaver to place his hands on the back of his head and interlace his fingers. Shaver was again compliant. Sgt. Langley then told Shaver to cross his left foot over his right foot. Shaver complied with this but appeared confused as to which foot Sgt. Langley had ordered him to cross. He crossed his feet both ways before finally crossing his feet as Sgt. Langley had instructed. Sgt. Langley then asked again who else was in the room and Shaver responded with “nobody.”

    Sgt. Langley then asked if both of them were drunk and they both responded that they were not … He then told Shaver that he turn his eyes down and look at the carpet and not move. He further instructed that Shaver needed to keep his fingers interlaced on his head and his legs crossed. Sgt. Langley then told Shaver that if he moved, it would be considered a threat and the officers would have to deal with that and Shaver “may not survive it.” Shaver acknowledged with “yes sir” when asked if he understood this…

    Shaver remained compliant and was not moving … Sgt. Langley told Shaver to listen to his instructions and “do not make a mistake.” Portillo’s purse was clearly visible in the middle of the hallway approximately three feet in front of Shaver.

    Sgt. Langley told Shaver to keep his legs crossed and to place his hands out in front of him and push himself up into a kneeling position. Shaver moved his hands in front of him and then when he started to push himself into a kneeling position, he uncrossed his legs. Sgt. Langley immediately shouted at Shaver to keep his legs crossed. Shaver crossed his legs and was now on all fours on his hands and knees on the floor. Shaver’s head was down and he could be heard saying he is sorry and continued to mumble something I could not understand. Shaver then attempted to raise his body into a kneeling position as he had originally been instructed and brought both of his hands behind his back. This did not appear to be an exaggerated movement and looked similar from the vantage point of the video as when someone is handcuffed with officers behind them…

    Sgt. Langley began to tell Shaver that he was not interested in a conversation as Shaver pushed himself up and placed his hands behind his back. Sgt. Langley stopped mid-sentence and began loudly screaming at Shaver about his hands. The initial command of what to do with his hands was loud and indiscernible on the recording as to what is being asked of Shaver. Sgt. Langley then followed up with shouting for Shaver to place his hands in the air. Shaver complied and rapidly put his hands above his head.

    At approximately 16 minutes and 40 seconds on the recording Sgt. Langley shouted at Shaver, “If you do that again, we are shooting you. Do you understand?” Shaver immediately responded with the statement, “No, please don’t shoot me.” Shaver’s voice appeared to be panicked and Sgt. Langley shouted that Shaver needs to listen to instructions. At that point, Shaver’s arms were above his head with his elbows at approximately 90 degree angles. Shaver was ordered to put his hands in the air again by Sgt. Langley and he pushed his hands high above his head in compliance.

    Sgt. Langley then shouted to Shaver that he was to keep his hands high in the air and that if he puts them in the small of his back again that they will shoot him. Shaver could audibly be heard sobbing at that point and Sgt. Langley asked if he understood. Shaver again said, “Yes, sir,” but could now be audibly heard sobbing as he said this…

    Sgt. Langley could then be heard telling Shaver to crawl towards him. Sgt. Langley shouted this command and Shaver again dropped to his hands and knees and again can audibly be heard sobbing “Yes, sir,” as he began to crawl forward. Shaver reached the area where Portillo’s purse was and his left hand moved across his body and around the purse in order to crawl past it. Shaver was audibly sobbing as he crawled. Officer Brailsford’s rifle was primarily pointed down the hall until this movement was made. Officer Brailsford then swung his rifle back towards Shaver where Shaver could be seen with his braced left hand and his right hand moving back towards his waist with his elbow raised behind him. Shaver’s head appeared to be down with his face looking at the carpet. What appeared to be multiple voices, including Sgt. Langley’s, then began to say “Don’t” as Shaver’s hand moved back toward the front of his body. When his hand moves toward the front it is very slightly balled and his thumb is towards the top. Officer Brailsford fired his first shot as Shaver’s hand was moving toward the front of his body and as at least one officer was heard saying, “Don’t.”…

    …the movement of Shaver’s right arm in the recording was a very similar motion to someone drawing a pistol from their waist band. Officer Brailsford rapidly fired five shots at Shaver and Shaver slumps to the ground on Portillo’s purse. Shaver’s underwear were clearly visible and it appeared his shorts had fallen partially down his legs at that point. Shaver’s motion was also consistent with attempting to pull his shorts up as they were falling off. No other purposes for this movement appear to be viable.

    There were six officers at the scene at the time. Only Brailsford fired his weapon.

  25. Dave Says:

    during cultural revolution one of ways the communists use to torture the right wingers was to make them walk with their knees through a path of broken glasses

  26. parker Says:

    I am with Richard Aubrey, the police in this instance were grossly negligent and yet escaped all consequences. I too give cops the benefit of the doubt, up until it is obvious otherwise.

  27. Dave Says:

    Shaver wouldn’t have been shot if he “crawled” the way they were asking him to, and the woman had just demonstrated to him how to “crawl” with hands up in the air. Everything clinched on the fact that he was not able to move toward the cops with his hands up. If I am the cop, and I just witnessed the woman “crawling” toward me with her hands up with no problems, the fast thing appears in my mind would be “what game is this man playing, why isn’t he following my instructions, is he planning to ambush us”

  28. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I’m sorry but they tortured that poor man and then they murdered him. They repeatedly told him they’d kill him if he made even the slightest mistake. Who does that?

    And then they made up an excuse to get away with it.

  29. Dave Says:

    There were many instances during the short encounter that the man kept disobeying simple instructions, at one point in a kneeling position against orders he put his hands behind his back, I would have shot him at that instance if I was the cop.

  30. Gordon Says:

    Dave, you seem to be looking for any excuse to kill this guy. Exactly who did he shoot? What violent felonies occurred in the hotel room? If police get a tip that you, Dave, were pointing a gun out a window, is it okay for the cops to come to your house, order you out, scream weird instructions, and if you don’t comply perfectly, shoot you five times?

    What about if you’d had a few drinks before the incident? How well would you obey those “simple instructions” then? No mistakes, or we’re going to kill you!

  31. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    For people whose first language is English (and that apparently includes Shaver, Langley, and Brailsford) the word “crawl” is very clear, and it does not include walking on your knees with hands in air. It has one of two meanings—crawl on your belly like a reptile, or crawl on hands and knees like a baby.

    “Walk toward me on your kneecaps” is comprehensible English, but it’s completely different than “crawl,” especially when paired with the command to also keep your hands up. Walking on knees with hands up is not a normal mode of movement, even in such a situation. I actually have never seen or heard of it before, it’s so unnatural and also difficult because unless you are very strong you can’t maintain your balance. I’m not even going to try it right now and see, because I think I would hurt myself.

    There are many variants of crawling, but none are like what Shaver was told to do: see this.

    Even babies have trouble walking on knees with hands up. See this. You just don’t see it happening. And this is the only context in which I’ve ever seen knee-walking by adults, and note they don’t have their hands up either (and I bet they’d fall over if they did).

  32. Dave Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEfCoS-wqWE

    You honestly think this is difficult for a healthy man in his 30s?

  33. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    I watched the portion of the video up to where the woman “crawled” towards the officer.

    First of all, I have chronic injuries and could not have done any of that. I could not even interlace my fingers above my head (as the Shaver was told he had to do) and keep them there without significant pain. I doubt very much I could hold that position, and a lot of people would have trouble with it, too.

    However, the officer told the woman to get on her knees, raise her hands, and the “crawl.” Absurd and contradictory instructions. “Walk on your knees with hands in air” would have described it, but the officer said “crawl.” She happened to make the right choice, but not the inevitable one.

    But more importantly, you claim that Shaver watched her doing it correctly. But look at the video. Shaver was told he had to keep his head down on the floor with hands interlaced behind his head. He’s not able to see anything. He only hears the instructions to her to crawl. He did not see what she did; he was prohibited from looking.

  34. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    I was a young healthy woman when I injured myself. I appeared fully capable of doing that sort of thing, but I was not.

    I am not saying he couldn’t have done it, either. I assume he could have. I am saying that the instructions did not inform him exactly what was wanted, and he was in a state of extreme fear which tends to cause errors anyway, and he did not observe what the woman had done because he’d been told to keep his head to the ground in a position where he couldn’t see, and he had heard the command “crawl” when she was doing her knee-walking-with-hands-in air. Look at the video—because he is complying with the officer’s instructions, Shaver is unable to see her.

    The instructions for knee walking with hands in air were for an unusual type of locomotion, and not at all the same as crawling. The instructions were contradictory and confusing and unusual, and were coupled with some terrifying threats. For people with orthopedic injuries (like me) they would also be almost impossible, but that’s not the main issue.

  35. Dave Says:

    my english is better than that officer or whoever wrote the stupid instructions if the officer was citing from something, I would have saved that man’s life if i was the person giving him the instructions. I blame government education system for this tragedy.

  36. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Here’s another angle; these cops were not demanding that the woman comply exactly with their “instructions”. Walking on your knees is not crawling…

    In the circumstances the cops faced they could not know that she wasn’t dangerous. After all she was with Shaver…

    But she gets a pass and the guy doesn’t?

    Plus, “The guy talking was Sgt. Charles Langley, who retired from the police department a few months after the shooting.”

    He’s an experienced Sargent not a rookie. No way this is his first rodeo.

    Something about this stinks. It almost sounds like a paid hit with the cops, from the very start giving themselves the out of Shaver ‘failing to comply’. If there was no video, they’d have got completely away with it too…

  37. Dave Says:

    however, we can’t just assume that they let the woman off easy for whatever reasons because indeed the woman followed the instructions perfectly without much need of verbal confrontations. The victim was clumsy and failed to follow any instructions.

  38. The Other Chuck Says:

    It’s part of the SWAT team mentality to shoot at the first sign of non-compliance. Whether it’s a poor animal, a drunk, or someone who is having a diabetic insulin reaction, they get shot because they failed to obey. You can make all the excuses you want, from poor training to poorly given orders, but it’s getting more and more common for cops to act like thugs. Because they almost always are given the benefit of the doubt when charged, and because they have immunity from civil lawsuits, they have little reason to fear any accountability.

    Notice the alt-right haircut of Brailsford and his pretty tattoos?

  39. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    She didn’t follow the actual instructions perfectly. The instructions were to crawl.

    But what she did was satisfactory as far as the officer was concerned. But I think it’s clear almost from the start of that video that the officer was far more concerned with the man. Remember that they had gotten (according to a link I gave earlier) a report that a man was pointing a gun out the window. So it would make sense that they would focus on the man and be more more suspicious and wary of him. Plus, the demographics of violent crime would dictate that, as well. Men are far more likely to be violent criminals than women, and the police know that.

  40. The Other Chuck Says:

    Murdered victim and murderer:
    https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=vchuJoqR&id=CE2EAE6F4E951FB02B18F47507A46DFE80FEEC65&thid=OIF.RmbLzq3xw8Om75FSAx3GGw&mediaurl=https%3A%2F%2Fheavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com%2F2016%2F03%2Fbrailsford-shaver-e1459308458178.jpeg%3Fquality%3D65%26strip%3Dall%26w%3D782&exph=398&expw=782&q=Daniel+Shaver+Shooting&adlt=strict&ajaxhist=0&selectedindex=10

    Nice tats, very pretty:
    https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=vchuJoqR&id=CE2EAE6F4E951FB02B18F47507A46DFE80FEEC65&thid=OIF.RmbLzq3xw8Om75FSAx3GGw&mediaurl=https%3A%2F%2Fheavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com%2F2016%2F03%2Fbrailsford-shaver-e1459308458178.jpeg%3Fquality%3D65%26strip%3Dall%26w%3D782&exph=398&expw=782&q=Daniel+Shaver+Shooting&adlt=strict&ajaxhist=0&selectedindex=10

  41. Dave Says:

    I think the walk on the knee with hands up is what they were trying to convey, the crawling was bad wording. The police yell at the man whenever his hands is not in the air once the kneel posture was completed. The only time they demanded him to have his hands on the floor is when they needed him to cross his legs and change from the laying down position to the kneeling position. once he was kneeling, he should have his hands where the police can see at all time, but he kept moving his hands, putting them behind his back, putting them on the floor.

  42. Dave Says:

    I will always be on the opposition side of the pitchforks

  43. parker Says:

    Hey Dave,

    Have you ever ‘walked on your knees’ more than two feet?
    Excuse me if I doubt it. Knee walking, in Japanese martial arts is called shikko, look it up and then tell me you could do it. Sreach SHIKKO if you need a f5÷&ing clue.

    Excuses excuses, excuses.

  44. Dave Says:

    It’s not really knee walking, it’s the knees and the lower legs walking like the video I posted above, that woman accompanying the victim just did it. What you are saying is knees walking with the lower legs lifted up, completely different. Haven’t you seen like king Lear when king Lear kneel forward

  45. Oldflyer Says:

    I would like to support cops in every instance; but, anyone who argues that cops are not awfully quick to shoot, is peeing in the wind as far as I am concerned. I don’t know what has transpired, but something has changed dramatically over the past several years. Admittedly, given the gang situation in so many cities, and the violent nature of many people they encounter, there are situations in which they have reason to fear. However, I also suspect that for one reason or another people are given a badge and a gun who have no business with either.

    In so many situations, the cops have a fair number of options to control a situation without lasting harm. Shooting another human should be one of the last options; but, seemingly is near the top of the list.

  46. Dave Says:

    kneel walking examples, so easy kids and worshipers can all do it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJx3TSJOu7g

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYvX35j3f7c

  47. Dave Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUTuJdL9v6s

    are you saying that a 30 something man can’t do, even old ladies and young children can do that.

  48. Dave Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeC0XDFMZ7Q

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9U6JEXVRec

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBMWWfGvnL4

  49. Dave Says:

    maybe the word “crawl” is not wrong, it is crawling with hands off ground, it puzzles me that these many Americans don’t know you can crawl without hands easily.

  50. Dave Says:

    Where are you Parker?

    excuses, who is making excuses? lying about something so easy to be difficult, you are as reality twisting as liberals.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzTiExKsFfg

  51. The Other Chuck Says:

    Hey Dave, stuff it. The man was inebriated, scared shitless, and shot for sport. Go peddle your twaddle to someone else.

    (Sorry Neo, but sometimes being less than civil is called for.)

  52. Dave Says:

    I know, but you can’t just lie about the police giving him impossible instructions when the instructions were so simple and basic. Now I understand why they call America the land of obesity, Americans are so fat that they don’t even know you can crawl with no hands. If the video captured the woman doing the crawl with hands in the air there wouldn’t be any uproar because all the uproars stem from one wrong premise, a man cannot crawl with hands up in the air.

  53. Dave Says:

    How the heck did the police know that the deceased was so lack of common sense that he didn’t even know that a person can crawl with no hands? The cops already gave him at least two lifelines that they could have shot him justified when he put his hand behind his back multiple times prior. Daniel Shaver was scared but so were the cops, why do people expect the cops to be daredevils with no fear? they were called in with the assumption that this man was carrying a gun of course looking back at the incident in the know it all god mode now in the comfort of your home that you know it was a pellet gun, the cops didn’t know that, they were treating the victim as a suspect possibly planning a high ground massacre like Stephen Paddock.

  54. Oldflyer Says:

    Dave, The Other Chuck makes a good point. Time to shut up.

    It is beyond human reason to argue that the shooting of that poor soul was justified. Either the man with the gun should never had been given that power, or there is something fundamentally wrong with how cops are trained and conditioned.

    A distant cousin of mine was killed in the ’40s. He was a kid working on my uncle’s farm because both sons were off at war. He carried my cousin’s pistol in his pocket because he worshipped the older boys and wanted to be like them. (The excuse was he might encounter snakes.) He crossed another property, carrying two buckets of water, and the crazed owner came up behind him and told him to drop the pistol. Before he could put the buckets down, the man shot him in the arm on the side where the pistol was pocketed; and shot him again for not obeying. Then stood over him as he lay dying holding my uncle at bay. He got away with it because the kid was technically armed and on his property. (I am surprised that my uncle, a hard nosed WWI infantry veteran, did not kill the man, then or later, but he didn’t). This whole episode strikes me as being similar.

  55. Dave Says:

    many of you give the excuse that the victim failed to obey orders was because he was drunk. Doesn’t him being drunk plus police assuming he had a gun made me even more dangerous in the minds of the police and more reasons for them to be jumpy?

    having every cop equipped with a body cam that can’t be turned off will not resolve police brutality because can look at the same exact video and interpret it differently.

    how many times had Daniel Shaver put his hands out of sight during the encounter? you are making your judgement based on the retrospect that he had no gun, what you know now doesn’t reflect what the police knew at that moment. The jury had to make the decision based on what the police know of the suspect at the moment and determine if their decisions based on that knowledge and the victim’s reactions were appropriate. Does it change anything if the victim was indeed carrying a gun ready to shoot the police, no, because in retrospective him having a gun or not doesn’t change what the police knew at the moment of the killing and the decisions they made based on that knowledge.

  56. Dave Says:

    the notion that this is a hit on Daniel Shaver is bull*hit. Why not plant a gun on the victim if they were framing the guy find an excuse to shoot him lawfully, like Copland? why take the risk of one of their guys might get convicted and rat out everyone else involved for a lighter sentencing or plea deal? so the DA is on with it too, how much does it take to buy off all these cops with DA too, who is this Daniel Shaver? what knowledge does this man knew that someone with that much money to bribe off so many DAs and cops knew to get rid of him. Conspiracy theory is cool only if it makes the most basic sense.

  57. J.J. Says:

    When a man is on his face, with hands laced behind his head, and legs crossed per instructions; he is incapable of drawing a weapon. With six policemen on scene, it was time for two of them to move in, cuff the suspects, and search them for weapons. That’s what my retired cop neighbor says he would have done.

    This is horrifying. An innocent man killed because of inept police procedures. I am a big supporter of the police. I know their job is a hard one. I know they don’t want to come home in a body bag. I don’t expect them to be Rambo. That’s why I tell everyone I know to follow instructions and take up any beefs they might have with the police after the stop or arrest. In this case, it sounds like the police wanted to kill someone just because he might have a weapon. It’s another case where we lose a bit of trust in our institutions, in this case the police, who are supposed to be our defenders. The FBI has been not been looking very good either. This is not good.

  58. Richard Aubrey Says:

    As I see the vid, the cops were three steps from sitting on him, which is to say controlling the situation.

  59. Otiose Says:

    Once the guy was flat on the floor face down arms up and legs crossed there was no need to have him crawl anywhere. And no, the possibility of some other guy with a long rifle behind that closed door (see Red State link above) doesn’t change the fact there were two cops with heavy weapons trained in the right direction to deal with anyone emerging from that door. One cop handcuffs and drags/pulls/pushes him to wherever they had the woman, and then they could deal with whoever might be behind the door. Once the man was on the floor incapacitating him quickly was the next order not playing Simon Says until he missed an instruction.

  60. kevino Says:

    I’m with the majority: the instructions given to the suspect are just too weird for words.

    I compare this to some of the tactical training that I’ve had. The suspect is ordered to turn around, put their hands behind their head, interlace their fingers, and drop to their knees. I want the suspect looking the other way so he/she can’t see what I’m doing. I want to see his/her hands. I want the suspect on their knees so that running away or even turning around requires extra time. Once this is done, you have a lot of control.

  61. Fractal Rabbit Says:

    First, my bona foxes, which I have stated before:

    -Law Enforcement 10+ Years
    -Defensive Tactics instructor 7+ Years

    Second,

    Dave, your comments here and apologetics for utter incompetence reveal in bright, neon lights that you are in this case an Ignoramus. You know nothing about this situation other than what you saw and the fact YOU could have complied had you been in the victim’s place.

    I submit that you most likely would have been shot and killed as well. My blood boils and my heart grieves for this man and his family. His death was so senseless, so needless.

    The younger officer may have pulled the trigger but it was the supervisor (Sergeant) who set up the circumstances. His incompetence is beyond the pale. And it goes beyond the contradictory orders.

    First, the shouting and yelling. At no point was that necessary, and it fact when someone has been drinking or is otherwise intoxicated, it is counterproductive. On its own, it needlessly escalates the situation. It also demonstrates that the Sergeant did not have the temperament for that job and should have been allowed NO WHERE NEAR A FIREARM OR A SHIELD. If he was that tense to begin with, man, go get a job as a telemarketer or medical transcription.

    Combine that escalation with contradictory orders (and apparently you are the only one here who doesn’t see that) and it is a recipe for tragedy.

    There is not a doubt in my mind that with two competent officers, Daniel Shaver would not only be alive, he would have been left in the hotel room to continue his socializing.

    Dave, you say you’ll always be on the other side of the pitchforks. I think you need to reflect on your ignorance and your inability to see that sometimes the pitchforks (and torches and tar and feathers) are necessary.

    And just as an aside, your comment about the communists and the cultural revolution really undermine any point you may have made otherwise.

    It’s a shame that they went for 2nd degree. The DA only compounded the injustice. A lot of incompetence to go around.

  62. Oldflyer Says:

    Well said, Fractal Rabbit.

    I have no doubt that everyone who regularly visits and posts on this site appreciates the difficulty that police officers face. We understand that some situations involve serious ambiguity and potential threat. Mistakes can be made in the more extreme cases, and that is understood. On the other hand it should be a given that when a person is given the authority represented by a badge, and the lethal potential of a gun, it is reasonable to expect that person to have the personal attributes, along with training, to cope with fraught situations.

    (Aside; I wonder if the shouting, posturing, and lethal response demonstrated in this episode is influenced by the behavior that is routinely depicted in movie and TV episodes? I am convinced that much of what is portrayed now is toxic.)

    I don’t know whether Dave argues for the sake of argument, or if his thinking is actually so skewed. Either way, he has not enhanced his credibility.

  63. n.n Says:

    Diversity colors our perception. Negative progress.

  64. Gordon Says:

    As I wrote earlier, read The Rise of the Warrior Cop by Radley Balko of Reason magazine. He’s done the research going back into the 1950s. Cops did not used to respond in this way. Training has been changed, recruiting has been changed. This idea that police departments should have belt-fed automatic weapons–that’s crazy.

    Back during riots in LA in the 1960s, someone asked if the cops should be issued grenades. The response–from the chief!–was, “Are you crazy? Of course not.” Now small town forces have armored vehicles, gifts of Uncle Sam. And when was the last time anyone needed one?

    Cops like to play Barney Bad Ass. It’s fun. It’s cool to dress up in black. It impresses the girls when you talk all tactical. But it is not good policing. No-knock raids are almost never justified, but they’re done more often than not. And do not get me started on how states, counties and municipalities are using civil asset theft to feed their budgets.

    Things need to change. It won’t be easy.

  65. neo-neocon Says:

    Dave:

    Re your comment at 11:15.

    For about the third time or so I will explain that the reason Shaver “didn’t even know that a person can crawl with no hands” is because a person cannot crawl with no hands. A person can walk on his knees with no hands (although some people such as myself would have trouble doing it), but that is not “crawling.” It was actually Sgt. Langley, who issued the orders, who “so lack[ed]…common sense that he didn’t even know that a person cannot crawl with no hands.”

    If cops are that easily scared, and that confused in their own minds about how to talk to a suspect while threatening him with death, that cop should get out of the business because he doesn’t have the skills to be entrusted with the job (and enormous power) of being a cop.

  66. Fractal Rabbit Says:

    Oldflyer said:

    “Aside; I wonder if the shouting, posturing, and lethal response demonstrated in this episode is influenced by the behavior that is routinely depicted in movie and TV episodes? I am convinced that much of what is portrayed now is toxic.”

    That may be part of it, especially with the disregard for Constitutional Rights. I’ve been railing against the various Law & Order shows for years that basically depict the railroading of people frequently: Because on the show, they are guilty and the writers justify it.

    Although, on TV the idiots usually face off with assault weapon wielding criminals using nothing but a handgun…

    But as Gordon (and Radley Balko ) say, its part of the training now unfortunately.

    I was lucky enough to have an old school peace officer for my FTO (Field Training Officer). And I kid you not, when I f#$@ed up, I heard about it. I even got slapped (a good slap too) across the head as soon as we were out of sight of the public. I got called all sorts of names ( and he was 100% correct) and got told to take any number of things, including my fat head, out of my a$$. And I deserved it.

    I’m certain that when I was a rookie, I took more punishment (both physically and verbally) than anyone we ever arrested.

    His motto: “Don’t invest your ego in it. We all want to go home safe.” And he meant ALL: Officers and the Public, criminals included. I never once saw him arrest someone just to prove a point or because his ego got the best of him.

    Carl passed away two years ago and I miss him every day. We don’t have many like him anymore. I can’t help but wonder how a guy like he would have handled the Daniel Shaver incident.

  67. Yankee Says:

    This has not been mentioned here yet, but the M-16 type rifle used by Philip Brailsford to kill Daniel Shaver had a custom dust-cover installed on it, one that was inscribed with the words “You’re Fucked.” Those words were on the inside of the dust-cover, as that pops open after the weapon is fired, and the shell casing is ejected. The judge did not allow the jury to know this.

    There is no substitute for maturity and common sense as a police officer, especially when one is often dealing with people who are drunk or irrational.

  68. Richard Aubrey Says:

    This time, Brailsford got caught. Likely not his first time messing with helpless.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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