Gang member shot dead in court after he rushes witness stand

Siale Angilau

Siale Angilau

A video recording of the 2014 Utah police shooting of an alleged gang leader Siale Angilau (25) was publicly released today following a decision by a United States District Judge John E. Dowdell on 9 March. In this photo, a view from behind the witness stand looking towards the gallery in Courtroom #8 which will be full of prospective jury candidates, one day before jury selection begins for the Michael Jackson child molestation trial at the Superior Court of California courthouse in Santa Maria, California, Jan 30, 2005.

'Drop the pen, drop the pen out of your hand, ' another officer out of the shot can be heard yelling at the defendant.

A woman cries out in horror while other law enforcement in suits ran toward the witness stand.

The FBI also found the shooting to be justified.

As US District Judge Tena Campbell was escorted out of the courtroom, someone called 911 at the end of the released video.

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Lynzey Donahue, a spokeswoman for the Marshals Service, said in a statement the video "demonstrates how quickly violence can erupt, in any situation".

The video then shows a deputy US Marshal, identified in court documents as Jane Doe, pull her gun from its holster and rapidly fire four shots at Angilau. It claimed that Angilau was killed by excessive force.

Tenifa is standing feet away from where Angilau lands in the witness box, the video shows. "There was no necessity to use force", he said. "They weren't entitled to use the death penalty on him for an assault".

Sykes claims because the witness got out of the way he wasn't in danger when the marshal opened fire.

He was in court after being one of 17 people named in a 29-count racketeering indictment that accused gang members of conspiracy, assault, robbery and weapons offences. He was the last defendant in the case to stand trial.

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The Department of Justice wanted the video kept under seal over concerns it could lead to retaliatory gang violence.

The video is pixelated to obscure the judge, officers and others in the courtroom. They supported journalists' efforts to see the video.

Sykes said he's glad the video was made public, but the Angilau family wants justice.

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.

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