Monday, 19 March, 2018

Judge releases video of fatal federal courtroom shooting

Siale Angilau a 25-year-old member of the Tongan Crip gang was shot dead while charging a witness during his trial Video released of fatal courtroom shooting in Salt Lake City (Warning: Graphic Content)
Melinda Barton | 14 March, 2018, 02:50

A federal judge has released the four-year-old courtroom video of the intense moment a defendant is fatally shot as he attacks a witness in Salt Lake City.

The Justice Department maintained that the marshal who killed Angilau protected the courtroom that day, and that disclosing the video would further inflame gang members who had threatened retaliation against law enforcement after the shooting.

He then dashes towards the witness and attempts to vault onto the stand, brandishing the pen.

In a statement obtained by Deseret News US District Court Judge John Dowdell said the video contradicts the plaintiff's argument that Angilau stopped posing a danger within less than one second of launching himself at the witness stand.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Angilau, who was a member of the Salt Lake City Tongan Crip Gang, was on trial for racketeering, and the witness, Vaiola Tenifa, was a former gang member. "His attack was stopped by the shots that Jane Doe rapidly fired, in less than one and one-half seconds". "Drop the pen out of your hand".

Salt Lake City's U.S. District Court released courtroom video of the 2014 shooting on Monday, almost four years after the 25-year-old defendant was shot four times.

The judge in the case declared a mistrial, and the US marshal was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

Family attorney Bob Skyes unsuccessfully argued that the U.S. Marshall "panicked" and could've used another method to subdue Angilau.

Faces of nearly all the people present inside the courtroom at the time, including the judge is blurred in the video.

He told the News: '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", he said.

But the judge dismissed that lawsuit, ruling that under the totality of the circumstances, the Marshal's "use of deadly force against Angilau was objectively reasonable and did not violate his fourth amendment rights".

KSL reported an FBI investigation also cleared the deputy of any wrongdoing.