Arizona Police Union Spurs Facebook Backlash
The Facebook page of an Arizona police union blew up over the weekend with more comments than they have likes on their page for defending the indefensible.
Mesa Police Association wrote a long defense of Mitchell Brailsford who is seeking a plea deal after being charged with second degree murder for killing Daniel Shaver, an innocent pest-control worker who used a pellet gun to shoot birds in Walmart stores.
And you’ll find out why after you see the comments below and the post.
Maricopa County District Attorney Bill Montgomery is refusing thus far to release the video of Daniel Shaver claiming that his widow might speak to the public about the case.
So, Brailsford’s police union decided to speak out instead, foisting a bunch of dubious claims upon the public.
Based on the lack of response from its members on these posts, it can be assumed that perhaps some of the 600 police in Mesa, Arizona also find their union’s statement appalling.
But user comments tell the full story of a major Facebook backlash, so we’ve shared the most informative below.
Arizona Police Union’s Critics are National, Most Comments About Supporting Victim of Police Crime
NY Times best selling author Brittany Gibbons, who wrote “Fat Girl Walking,” jumped into the fray with a poignant comeback to the Mesa Police Association’s cold assertion that Daniel Shaver, who prosecutors say, “didn’t do anything wrong,” had to face consequences for his actions that prosecutors characterized as “trying to comply,” but for which the police union contends Shaver must, “pay the price.”
“I’m sorry, did you actually say he “paid the price?” The price being death by an officer using his personal weapon who’s now not only been fired but also charged with murder? That’s quite a price. It’s crazy to think you’re justified in doing that.
I feel like, as police, you should be standing by the actual victims in the case. Like the person a criminal murdered and the family left behind. That seems like an action actually worthy of respect.”
Meanwhile, Mesa Police supporter Christian Mendivil wrote the following comment, receiving five likes, “God bless our police officers who serve and protect our community. Thank you all very much for your daily service and sacrifice to our citizens.”
“Yes, God bless all officers that perform their duties to the letter of the law, not by altering their weapons and murdering a man in cold blood that was begging for his life. I pray you never have to go through what this wonderful family is going through. God bless you as well.”
Tobal drew the following sharp response from concerned citizen Hannah Pulver who said: “You’re supporting the wrong person. Imagine if it was your spouse. Put yourself in that mindset and see if you’d be supporting the murder of an unarmed human being. Daniel Shaver is someone’s husband, father, child, brother etc. He matters. His life matters. Support his family.”
As a 25 year APWU rep I am disgusted beyond belief that you would publish such a post on social media. I realize that, even though you are an association and not a union, you are bound by law to represent your member. How in Gods name can you ascertain that this officers behavior is justified without seeing the body cam footage? I’ve represented plenty of guilty people because I had to but I certainly did not make an effort to sway the opinions of those that perceived the grievant to be guilty. You really should consider the ramifications of defending this guy in the court of public opinion.
Facebook commenter Brittany Barnes‘ comprehensive statement about Brailsford, the Mesa Police Association and the entire incident sums up the situation so well, it’s best to leave her with the final word.
I’m married to someone who works in law enforcement. I understand the fear involved on that side of the situation. However, since Mr. Shaver was intoxicated (by the way, that should be “0.29”, not simply “.29”), it should have been obvious to the officers present. If Officer Brailsford was threatened enough by an obviously intoxicated man who’s shorts were reported to be falling down, to shoot multiple times instead of using a non-lethal method to “eliminate the threat”, I believe he needs a different line of work.
The reported etching on his rifle also shows his blatant attitude of disrespect for others, and his attitude of power and authority. Those things are not a good combination in any line of work, but certainly not one where lives are at stake. The fact that he has previously reported issues with using excessive force support that. I also find it interesting to note that the report from the DA says Mr. Shaver appeared confused by the commands, not that he understood. Edited to add, there are actually several statements in this post that conflict the reports released. I understand wanting to “support” your officer, but lying to do so is wrong on many levels.”