Siale Angilau Shot In Courtroom After Attacking Witness

The video shows the moment the defendant Siale Angilau a member of the Tongan Crips gang stood up grabbed a pen or pencil and ran towards the witness stand- tossing him body over it to attack the witness

A USA 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.

The witness, Vaiola Mataele Tenifa, was a former member of the Tonga Crip Gang and was testifying in the witness box of the courtroom. He was not hurt, the "Daily Mail" reports.

The video shows the deputy US marshal, identified in court documents only as Jane Doe, unholster her gun and fire four quick shots at Angilau while backing up.

According to Fox News 13, on Friday, United States District Judge John E. Dowdell released the courtroom video, which shows defendant Siale Angilau grabbing a pen from the table and hurling himself at a witness.

"The video completely contradicts 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 hand", Dowdell wrote in the verdict, Deseret News reported.

She said the Federal Bureau of Investigation cleared the officer of any wrongdoing and that a review board found the use of force was within agency policy.

Angilau's lawyer, Robert Sykes, urged the judge to release the video so that the jury could see and decide if excessive force was used in the shooting.

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The video is pixelated to obscure the judge, officers and others in the courtroom.

The video is muzzed to keep the judge, officers and any witnesses in the courtroom from being identified. He said the witness got out of the way and wasn't in danger by the time the shots were fired.

Angilau's family first filed the wrongful death lawsuit in 2014 - claiming he shouldn't have been shot because it was 'partially unreasonable, reckless and constitutionally excessive. "There was no necessity to use force", he said.

Sykes said the Angilau family hasn't decided if they'll appeal the ruling throwing out the wrongful death lawsuit. Dowdell sided with Cleary's order Friday. The family had been allowed to view the video, but not to release it.

He was in court after being one of 17 people named in a 29-count racketeering indictment filed in 2008, which accused gang members of conspiracy, assault, robbery and weapons offenses.

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

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.

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