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

Siale Angilau a 25-year-old member of the Tongan Crip gang was shot dead while charging a witness during his trial

District Judge John Dowdell released the video of a 2014 shooting of a defendant who attacked a witness, during a trial inside the courtroom.

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 was concealed behind the witness stand when officers opened fire.

"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 in the verdict, Deseret News reported.

The witness, Vaiola Mataele Tenifa, was a former member of the Tonga Crip Gang and was testifying in the witness box of the courtroom. Audio of the shooting was released previously. An oficer out of shot yells "drop the pen".

The female US marshal, named only as Jane Doe, then fires four shots, killing Angilau.

The U.S. marshal who fired the shots was cleared of any wrongdoing.

The unidentified USA marshal was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shortly after the shooting and a review board found the use of force was within agency policy.

The Angilau family contended the marshal used excessive force on a man armed with only a pen.

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.

The family had argued that Angilau was armed only with a pen, and the four shots fired constituted an excessive use of force.

'There was no necessity to use force'.

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

While Angilau's family decides if they will appeal the decision, their attorney is happy the public will at least see the video.

However, Judge Dowdell said that the marshal - referred to as Jane Doe - stopped the attack.

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