US cop fired over deadly shooting 'rehired to get pension'

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Media captionDaniel Shaver was unarmed when he was shot

A US police officer who was fired after shooting dead an unarmed man was temporarily rehired so he could apply for a pension, local media report.

Philip Brailsford, 28, killed 26-year-old Daniel Shaver in the hallway of an Arizona hotel in early 2016.

He was fired and charged with murder – but was acquitted at trial in 2017.

Records show that he was briefly rehired last year so he could apply for a lifetime pension worth more than $2,500 (£2,000) a month.

The move meant he could be medically retired – rather than fired – which made him eligible for the pension.

“He was eligible for retirement benefits, so he applied for them,” local official Chris Brady told ABC News. He added that Mr Brailsford had submitted a claim of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in connection with the shooting.

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Mesa Police Department

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Philip Brailsford was found not guilty of murder in December 2017

The former officer signed an agreement with city officials that allowed him to apply for an accidental disability pension and medical retirement, the Mesa Police Department said.

Records, seen by the Arizona Republic newspaper, show that Mr Brailsford was reinstated for 42 days last August so he could make the application.

“[He] was not in any way fulfilling a capacity as a police officer” during this time, a police spokesman told the newspaper.

No weapon found

Mr Shaver was confronted by police responding to a report of a man pointing a gun out of a hotel room window in January 2016.

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Shaver family photo

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Daniel Shaver was shot five times by police

Bodycam footage of the incident, released after Mr Brailsford was acquitted, showed Mr Shaver on his knees asking officers not to shoot him.

But he was shot five times with a semi-automatic rifle as he crawled towards the officers while sobbing.

Lawyers argued that Mr Brailsford had responded appropriately, according to his training, when Mr Shaver reached towards his waistband – because he believed there was a concealed firearm there.

No weapon was found on the body, but Mr Bailsford said he believed Mr Shaver was reaching for one.

The police report said the victim had shown guests in his hotel room a rifle he used for work.

It later emerged that the rifle was an airsoft or pellet gun, rather than a genuine firearm.