Video Released in Salt Lake City Federal Courthouse Shooting

Sergio Conner
March 14, 2018

A federal judge has released terrifying video of a gang member defendant in a racketeering trial attacking a witness with a pen, before he is shot dead by a marshal.

A US federal judge released footage of the 2014 fatal shooting of a gang member inside a courtroom Monday, showing the defendant rushing a witness with a pen before officers shot him.

Deseret News reports that the 24-second video shows Siale Angilau, a member of the Tongan Crips gang, standing up, grabbing a pen, and approaching the witness stand to possibly attack a shackled witness.

Court footage shows the witness sinking out of the way before a US Marshal shot Angilau, 25, four times.

"Drop the pen. Drop the pen out of your hand", an officer yells at the defendant, as chaos ensues in the courtroom.

The video is pixelated to obscure the judge, officers and others in the courtroom. "His attack was stopped by the shots that Jane Doe rapidly fired, in less than one and one-half seconds".

Simultaneously, a marshal fires four fatal shots: "Bang, bang, bang, bang!"

But Angilau family's attorney, said a jury should see the video and make a decision about whether the marshal used appropriate force.

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This is the shocking moment a gang member on trial was shot dead when he launched himself onto a witness in an attempt to stab him.

Dowdell said it was clear that Angilau's actions necessitated the marshal's deadly response and that Angilau's rights were not violated.

Sykes said the Angilau family hasn't decided if they'll appeal the ruling throwing out the wrongful death lawsuit.

The pixelated video was initially ordered to be released by Magistrate Judge Paul Cleary in November, but the Department of Justice at the time objected. Dowdell sided with Cleary's order Friday. It claimed that Angilau was killed by excessive force.

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

The media coalition including the AP fought for several years with government attorneys to have the video released publicly, arguing that the shooting raised questions about police use of force and upholding the principle of open courts.

In addition to releasing the video Monday, U.S. District Judge John Dowdell dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Angilau family, KUTV reported.

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

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