Former officer charged with murder will testify

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Former Mesa police officer, Mitch Brailsford. 27 Nov. 2017 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) Former Mesa police officer, Mitch Brailsford. 27 Nov. 2017 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)

The defense is in full swing in the second-degree murder trial of former Mesa police officer Mitch Brailsford.

He is charged in the on-duty shooting death of Daniel Shaver in January 2016 at the La Quinta Hotel in Mesa.


The defense is trying to convince jurors that Brailsford did what he was trained to do. Brailsford maintains that he shot Shaver because he believed he was reaching for a gun when he disobeyed orders a couple of times to keep his hands where officers could see them.

The prosecution has been driving home the fact that none of the other officers who were in the hallway of the hotel when Shaver was confronted, fired their weapons when Shaver moved his hand to his back.

But according to a police use of force expert hired by the defense, that really has no bearing on whether Brailsford shot because he believes he and others were in imminent danger.

“They don't have to all fire at once. They don't have to all fire at all. There are many situations where there is more than one officer present where one or more of the officers present fire and one or more of the officers present do not fire. The fact that some officers don't fire doesn't mean that the officer who fired was wrong and it doesn't mean that the officers who didn't fire were wrong,” said Emanuel Kapelsohn.

A forensic imaging expert also testified on Tuesday to his examination of the body camera video.

Brailsford’s defense lawyer walked Michael Schott through many individual frames of the video to demonstrate to jurors that the decision for Brailsford to shoot was made with tenths of a second.

Defense attorney Michael Piccarreta confirmed that he plans to put Brailsford on the stand to testify in his own defense. That could happen as early as Wednesday.

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