Mesa officer charged with murder keeps his job for now

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Philip Brailsford at his first court appearance on March 15, 2016, since the shooting. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Philip Brailsford at his first court appearance on March 15, 2016, since the shooting. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Laney Sweet, Daniel Shaver’s wife. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Laney Sweet, Daniel Shaver’s wife. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Court records about the shooting are released. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Court records about the shooting are released. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Mesa police officer facing a second-degree murder charge for an on on-duty shooting is still on the force for now.

Mesa Officer Mitch Brailsford faced his police chief during a hearing about his future with the department on Thursday. 

[RELATED: Mesa PD recommends termination for officer involved in fatal shooting]

After the meeting, Brailsford’s attorney, Craig Mehrens, said Chief John Meza listened to their arguments against termination but didn’t make a decision or give a time line for deciding whether he will fire Brailsford.

Brailsford shot and killed Daniel Shaver at a Mesa hotel in January when police responded to reports of someone with a gun in a fifth floor window.  The county attorney said Shaver was unarmed and on his hands and knees when Brailsford opened fire. 

Nearly two weeks ago, Mehrens said his client was shocked by the charges because Chief Meza had already told him the shooting was justified. 

[RELATED: Attorney: Mesa police officer 'stunned' by murder charge]

This week, However, Mesa PD released a statement saying the chief had serious concerns about the shooting and would recommend terminating Brailsford from the force.

New court records about the shooting were also released this week.

According to court documents, shaver was cooperative but having trouble following commands because he was likely drunk.  The probable cause records show police ordered shaver to his hands and knees and told him to crawl toward officers.  While he was crawling, records say Shavers shorts began sagging down and he was likely reaching to pull them up when Brailsford opened fire.

[RELATED: Mesa officer pleads not guilty in shooting death of Texas man]

Much of the narrative comes from police body cam video which hasn’t yet been made public.  However, Shaver’s wife, Laney Sweet, saw it earlier in the week.

"It’s traumatizing because it's so completely unjustified because my husband did nothing,” said Sweet.

On Thursday, Sweet said in a text message that she believes the new court documents help prove Officer Brailsford “murdered” her husband and that waiting to see whether he’ll be fired is “infuriating.” 

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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