Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Back in January a woman, Laney Sweet, who is a birth doula that lives nearby lost her husband. The DFW metroplex is a big place, but the birth community is small; while we may not all know each other, we usually know of each other and interact in groups online. The loss of her husband has become my nightmare, my literal nightmare, and while my blog doesn't have an expansive reach its time I say something about it. 

You see, Laney's husband Daniel, was murdered by a police officer. 

If you know me, I'm not one to say inflammatory things like murdered by a police officer. I support our police and don't believe they're out to get us. I tie blue ribbons on my car antenna and put a blue line on the back window of my car in support, but the fact is he's a murderer. I've sat around believing that justice will come if we wait for the courts but unfortunately it's looking less and less like that will be the case, because he's a cop. 

Laney and her husband Daniel lived in Fort Worth but Daniel traveled most of the month for work in Pest control. In his line of work, he used large rifle like pellet guns. He was working in Mesa Arizona and staying in a hotel. At the hotel, he had befriended two other people staying for business and they were hanging out in his hotel room eating pizza and playing video games. Sometime during all of this Daniel called Laney to check in. As the testimonies are being told, one of Daniels guests asked what he had in the large case by the window. It was his rifle. So Daniel opened the case and showed it to him. The guy picked it up and looked it over and they went on with their evening. (A perfectly innocent, *legal* evening!)

What they didn't know was out by the pool witnesses saw them through their window with the gun and had hotel staff call the police. Several police officers arrived outside Daniel's hotel room and with guns drawn ask him and his guest to exit the room. (The man that had been holding the rifle had left a few minutes before to call home and check in.) Officers began shouting commands at them. Daniels guest was taken into custody without incident. Daniel was being told to put his hands above his head, to crawl towards the cops and to cross his ankles. He was complying with all of the officers commands and said "please don't shoot me". As he crawled on the floor towards the officers feet he reached back (to pull up his basketball shorts? Trying to comply with the commands to put his hands up? Who knows) and Officer Brailsford took this as a threatening gesture from a man crawling on the floor and shot him five times. 

The next day, Laney hadn't heard from her husband. Work is concerned that he didn't show up. She can't reach him for him to wish their oldest daughter a good day at school, as was their routine. She called the hotel, they wouldn't connect her to his room, instead they gave her the number of a police officer. The police officer wouldn't return her calls or the calls of her frantic family. They called the police station but no one would speak to her and tell her what was going on. Finally she called the Coroner and only then did she receive Condolences and the news that her husband and father of her two children had been murdered. It took several days for the police to get back with her at all. 

As time has gone by, several more facts have unfolded. Like that Officer Brailsford was using a personal weapon when he shot Daniel and on the gun he had it inscribed to say "YOURE FU**ED". He was temporarily put on leave, 3 days I believe, and then cleared to return to work. When the investigation was turned over to authorities other than the Internal Investigations (that Brailsford's father recently retired from....) it was found that he was at fault and he was charged with 2nd degree murder. 

He wasn't taken into custody, but directly charged and appeared in court for the first time on the 15th. There he pled "not guilty". The judge did not place a bail for him to meet to maintain his freedom. What other individual do you know charged with 2nd degree murder that doesn't have to post some kind of bail??? After the hearing the prosecution offered him a plea deal with a lesser charge of Negligent Homicide. If he takes the plea his sentencing will be left to the judge (the same one who has already show preferential treatment) with the minimum being Probation and maximum being 3.75 years in jail. If he takes the plea, a jury will never see the body cam footage of him murdering an innocent man. A father, a husband. 

This is wrong. This is not justice. This could just as easily be my husband John, or your husband, or your brother or my friend. It wasn't like he was innocent but doing something fishy that we can all shake our fingers at and shame him saying oh you shouldn't have... He was living his life and through a huge misunderstanding he was murdered! I would like to think that if my husband, or your husband or Laneys husband were murdered by anyone, including the police, that justice being blind would bring some retribution but that isn't happening here. 

Unfortunately, this gross injustice isn't getting the press coverage you would expect either. According to this reporter who is choosing not to cover it, it is because he's white. So apparently we only care when those with a dark skin tone are killed by police, justifiable or not? I would like to think that my life matters too, that Daniels life mattered even though we are white. ( ) 

This nightmare, this story that sounds too crazy to be true is Laneys reality. 
If you'd like more information, this is the Facebook page ( ) where you can find pictures, articles and anything you want to know about this horrible situation. #JusticeforDaniel

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