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Wife of Texas Man Killed by Arizona Police Gets $8 Million Settlement in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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The widow of an unarmed Texas man fatally shot by police outside his suburban Phoenix hotel room in 2016 has agreed to settle her wrongful-death lawsuit.

A settlement notice filed Tuesday in Arizona federal court shows that Laney Sweet, the wife of Daniel Shaver, and their two children will receive $8 million from the city of Mesa.

A probate court approved the terms of the agreement and appointed a temporary guardian.

In return, all of Sweet’s legal claims will be dismissed with prejudice.

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In a statement issued by his attorneys, Sweet acknowledged that the settlement will help his family financially. But “no amount of money can undo the transgressions that callously removed Daniel from his family’s life forever.”

“This settlement does nothing to cure the blatant lack of accountability by everyone involved since the night of Daniel’s death, which has posed an irreparable blight on the criminal justice system,” Sweet said.

Spokespersons for the city of Mesa and the Mesa Police Department declined to comment Wednesday.

Sweet first filed a lawsuit in 2017 against both parties seeking $75 million in damages. She maintained that Shaver had not caused the murder and it could have been prevented if officers had investigated further.

The city settled with Shaver’s parents in a similar lawsuit last year for an undisclosed amount.

Laney Sweet, left, widow of Daniel Shaver, arrives at Phoenix Superior Court on October 25, 2017 with her attorney for opening statements in the trial of former officer Philip Brailsford, accused of murder in the fatal 2016 shooting of unarmed. Razor.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

In January 2016, Mesa police officers went to the hotel after receiving a call that someone was pointing a gun out the window.

Shaver, 26, of Granbury, Texas, was ordered to leave his hotel room, lie on his stomach in a hallway and refrain from making any sudden movements, or risk being shot.

Then-Officer Philip Brailsford shot Shaver as the man lay on the ground outside his hotel room and was ordered to crawl towards the officers.

Brailsford was charged with murder in Shaver’s death, but a jury acquitted him of the charge.

Although no weapon was found on Shaver’s body, two BB rifles related to his pest control work were later found in his bedroom.

The detective investigating the shooting agreed Shaver’s movement was similar to reaching for a gun, but said it also appeared Shaver was pulling up baggy basketball shorts that had fallen off him when he was ordered to crawl toward the shooting. the officers.

Mesa initially fired Brailsford, but he was later rehired to apply for a pension and later retired on medical grounds.

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The United States Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation against Brailsford. In March 2018, the Mesa Police Department revealed that the Department of Justice had subpoenaed the department to obtain all documents regarding the shooting.

The investigation is still ongoing, according to Sweet and her attorneys, who asked the DOJ to “proceed expeditiously.”

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