Dramatic footage has been released of a Crips gang member being shot dead in court after attacking a witness. Picture: CCTV / The Sun
Dramatic footage has been released of a Crips gang member being shot dead in court after attacking a witness. Picture: CCTV / The Sun

Footage of gang member shot dead in court

DRAMATIC 24-second footage from a 2014 gang-related racketeering trial has been released after a media coalition argued it was a public record in an important police use-of-force case.

It shows Siale Angilau, a member of the Tongan Crips gang, rising from his seat beside his lawyer during the witness testimony and grabbing his lawyer's pen.

 

According to The Sun, someone is heard yelling: "Whoa, whoa, whoa," but before any officers could react, Angilau sprints towards the witness and leaps with his right arm cocked overhead with the pen in hand.

The man jumps back to avoid being hit as Angilau falls feet-first over the front of the witness stand and the unidentified US marshal fires his gun.

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

Angilau's defence lawyer jumps under a desk while prosecutors stand in shock.

A Crips gang member leaps into the witness stand armed with his lawyer’s pen before being shot dead by court marshall. Picture: CCTV / The Sun
A Crips gang member leaps into the witness stand armed with his lawyer’s pen before being shot dead by court marshall. Picture: CCTV / The Sun

A bailiff swiftly moves to block the entrance to the front of the court and points at people in the gallery and tells them to stay still with his right hand on his holstered weapon.

Someone is heard shouting in the direction of Angilau: "Get on the ground."

An officer standing over him yells: "Drop the pen. Drop the pen out of your hand."

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

Crips gang member falls into the witness stand after being shot multiple times by court marshall. Picture: CCTV / The Sun
Crips gang member falls into the witness stand after being shot multiple times by court marshall. Picture: CCTV / The Sun

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

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

The Angilau family lawyer, Bob Skyes, said the video shows that the marshal "panicked" and should have used other methods to subdue him.

He points out that Angilau, who was 25, 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.

Mr Skyes said: "There was no need to use deadly force. They weren't entitled to use the death penalty on him for an assault."

Siale Angilau was shot dead in a courtroom after lunging at a witness. Picture: Utah Department of Corrections / AP
Siale Angilau was shot dead in a courtroom after lunging at a witness. Picture: Utah Department of Corrections / AP

Angilau was one of 17 people named in a 2010 indictment accusing Tongan Crips members of assault, conspiracy, robbery and weapons offences.

He was the last defendant in the case to stand trial, with previous defendants being sentenced to 10 to 30 years in prison.

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

Faces of the judge, attorneys and jurors are blurred out and the agency declined comment about the release of the video.

 

This article first appeared in The Sun and is republished with permission.


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