ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A controversial Arizona police shooting of an unarmed man has prompted a former New Mexico woman to file a federal lawsuit over what happened to her during and after the confrontation.
A former Silver City resident, Monique Portillo, is suing several Mesa, Arizona, police officers tied to the 2016 shooting death of Daniel Shaver.
Portillo claims her civil rights were violated by Mesa, Arizona, police officers as they detained her shortly before Shaver was shot to death.
The shooting death of Daniel Shaver made headlines in December 2017 following an acquittal in the murder trial against the officer who shot Shaver, Philip “Mitch” Brailsford.
As Portillo described during Brailsford’s trail, she saw officers shoot Shaver inside a La Quinta Inn in Mesa, near Phoenix.
Portillo told investigators she has only met Shaver shortly before the shooting.
According to police body camera recordings, Portillo was at the hotel on business when she and a co-worker from her job in Silver City met Shaver, who offered to have drinks in Shaver’s hotel room.
People inside the hotel called 911 as the three were gathered inside the hotel. Witnesses saw Shaver through his hotel room window, holding a scoped pellet rifle he used for a pest control business.
“I was like, ‘Hey you guys, don’t be so close to the window, you know? People may get the wrong idea'” Portillo testified during Brailsford’s trial.
Police confronted Shaver and Portillo inside the hotel hallway. After Portillo was detained without injury, officers shot Shaver, seeing the man reach toward his waistband.
Portillo described seeing the shooting.
“As he was crawling out, I guess his shorts were falling down cause of the material, because it was basketball shorts,” said Portillo. “And if you’re trying to crawl with your hands up this way, I mean out of reaction, you’re going to try to pull up your shorts… and then… they shot him.”
An Arizona jury determined the officer who fired, Brailsford wasn’t guilty of second-degree murder.
However, Portillo claims her rights were violated by officers.
After Shaver was shot, Portillo claims she was detained in handcuffs for hours and that police refused to tell her why she was being detained. Portillo was never accused of, or charged with a crime.
In a lawsuit, Portillo claims Arizona Police unlawfully arrested her, used excessive force and never returned her personal items including her wallet and purse.
Portillo’s Albuquerque attorney Greg Chavez told KRQE News 13 Wednesday that he hopes the lawsuit will help change police behavior and treatment towards individuals, highlighting that Portillo was never charged or even under suspicion of committing a crime.