A U.S. federal judge released footage of the 2014 fatal shooting of a gang member inside a courtroom Monday, showing the defendant rushing a witness with a pen before officers shot him.
U.S. District Judge John Dowdell released the footage Monday over protests from the family of the man who was killed, Siale Angilau, Deseret News reported.
Angliau, a member of the Tongan Crips gang, is seen grabbing a pen and rushing another gang member who was testifying against him. The other gang member was shackled, but managed to escape to the corner of the room as Angilau leaped into the witness box and fell to the floor. He was concealed behind the witness stand when officers opened fire.
Angilau’s family sued the court, with attorney Robert Sykes saying Angilau had ceased hostilities after leaping into the witness box.
“Those last three shots were all after he’s been shot once down on the ground in the back, and that’s the problem I have with this case. There was no necessity to use force,” Sykes said.
Judge Dowdell disagreed.
“The video completely contradicts plaintiffs’ argument that Angilau stopped posing a danger within less than one second of launching himself over the witness stand while making a stabbing motion with a pen in hand,” Dowdell wrote, according to the Desert News. “Angilau was in custody, but he essentially had escaped custodial control for those seconds during which he was executing his plan to assault the witness. His attack was stopped by the shots that Jane Doe rapidly fired, in less than one and one-half seconds.”
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