Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Judge releases video of fatal federal courtroom shooting

Judge releases video of fatal federal courtroom shooting

The clip of the incident, that took place in 2014, has only now been released to the public after US District Judge John Dowdell dismissed a lawsuit brought by Angilau's family claiming excessive force.

A judge made a decision to release courtroom footage of the incident after a lawsuit from Angilau's family was dismissed.

The judge wrote in a statement: "The video completely contradicts the 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 his hand'. He attempted to stab the witness but missed and fell onto the floor.

Four loud shots are heard as Angilau dives into the stand.

Angilau was an alleged leader of a local street gang called the "Tonga Crip Gang".

A video released Monday shows the fatal shooting by a US marshal of a defendant who rushed a witness stand at a Utah federal courthouse.

The footage from 2014 shows Tongan Crip Gang member Siale Angilau, 25, rising from a seat next to his attorney, and grabbing his lawyer's pen. The police marshal's identity is now under suppression. The family argued Angilau only had a pen and the four shots fired were excessive.

An FBI investigation found the shooting was justified by law. Angilau (pictured) is no longer visible at that point.

He points out that Angilau was already down on the ground for the final three shots and that a courtroom full of officers could have stopped him before he harmed anyone with the pen.

'There was no necessity to use force'.

Angilau was one of 17 people named in a 2010 indictment accusing Tongan Crip members of assault, conspiracy, robbery and weapons offenses. He said it is up to the them to decide if they want to appeal the judge's ruling dismissing their lawsuit. Angilau was the last person to be tried, as previous defendants were sentenced to 10 to 30 years behind bars.

A mistrial was declared after the shooting.

Faces of the judge, attorneys and jurors are blurred out to protect their identities. The agency declined comment Monday about the release of the video.

In July 2016, the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a coalition of Utah media, including the Deseret News, KSL, Salt Lake Tribune, Fox 13 and Associated Press, filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act seeking the video with the assistance of attorneys from Parr Brown Gee & Loveless.

Department of Justice attorneys said the media organisations wanted the video to "sell newspapers".

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