Body cam video in deadly officer-involved shooting to remain sealed -- for now

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Laney Sweet, the widow of Daniel Shaver, and her lawyer argued that the police body cam video of the officer-involved shooting at a Mesa La Quinta Inn in January should be released. (Source: Steve Aron, KPHO/KTVK) Laney Sweet, the widow of Daniel Shaver, and her lawyer argued that the police body cam video of the officer-involved shooting at a Mesa La Quinta Inn in January should be released. (Source: Steve Aron, KPHO/KTVK)
Former Officer Philip Michell Brailsford (left) is facing a murder charge after shooting and killing Daniel Shaver (right) during an incident at a Mesa hotel in January. Brailsford said he feared for his life. Shaver was unarmed. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Former Officer Philip Michell Brailsford (left) is facing a murder charge after shooting and killing Daniel Shaver (right) during an incident at a Mesa hotel in January. Brailsford said he feared for his life. Shaver was unarmed. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Philip Brailsford (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Philip Brailsford (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A judge ruled Thursday that the police body cam video of a deadly officer-involved shooting will remain sealed.

Former Mesa Police Officer Mitch Brailsford is charged with second-degree murder in the death of a Texas man named Daniel Shaver.

Shaver's widow, Laney Sweet, and her lawyer went to court earlier this week to argue for the release of the video.

Several Valley news organizations always wanted the video released.

The Mesa Police Department, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and Brailsford's defense team wanted to keep the video under seal.

[READ: Prosecutor defends withholding video in Mesa police shooting]Their argument was that releasing video "would serve little public interest," and could taint the jury pool, which would adversely Brailsford's right to due process. Judge Sam Myers did not agree with that.

"Given the size of the jury pool in Maricopa County and the time frame until a possible trial, the Court does not find that the production of the
videos will taint the jury pool or interfere with defendant’s right to a fair and impartial jury," he wrote in his decision.

He did, however, say that now is not the time to release the video, pointing out that "no evidence has yet been presented to any Court."

Investigation: Mesa officers shoots, kills unarmed man at Mesa La Quinta Inn

At this point, no finding has been made if there is evidence to support the charge against Brailsford, who has not even had a preliminary hearing yet.

"Having weighed the various interests in this issue, the Court finds that the interests raised by the media have partially been addressed by the release of the police reports in this case," Myers wrote in his decision. "Until such time as the Court makes findings at a preliminary hearing, the Court finds that the due process rights of the defendant warrant the entry of the protective order to allow the parties an opportunity to present the videos in court with proper context, explanation, and arguments. Following a ruling at the preliminary hearing, the Court will lift the protective order."

That preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 17.

Myers also said Sweet has no right to see the video before it is made public.

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


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