Judge releases video of fatal federal courtroom shooting

Siale Angilau a 25-year-old member of the Tongan Crip gang was shot dead while charging a witness during his trial

Judge releases video of fatal federal courtroom shooting

A USA judge has released terrifying footage of a gang member, who was in court over racketeering charges, attacking a shackled witness with a pen before being shot dead by security officials four times at close range.

That's when the unidentified USA marshal shot Angilau 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.

The footage taken in 2014 was released after a lawsuit brought by Angilau's family was dismissed.

In this image capture from video provided to CBS Salt Lake City affiliate KUTV, Siale Angilau, center, rushes the witness stand in a federal courtroom in 2014.

"Angilau was in custody, but he essentially had escaped custodial control for those seconds during which he was executing his plan to assault the witness", the judge wrote in a ruling obtained by Deseret News. "His attack was stopped by the shots that Jane Doe rapidly fired, in less than one and one-half seconds".

The unidentified United States marshal who shot Angilau was cleared of any wrongdoing shortly after the shooting.

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An FBI investigation found the shooting was legally justified.

Angilau's family sued the court, with attorney Robert Sykes saying Angilau had ceased hostilities after leaping into the witness box. He said the witness got out of the way and wasn't in danger by the time the shots were fired.

He points out that Angilau 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 with the pen. "There was no necessity to use force", he told KSL.

But he said the family is glad the video has been made public - and that they want justice.

Faces of nearly all the people present inside the courtroom at the time, including the judge is blurred in the video.

Judge Dowdell sided with Cleary's order on Friday, and it was released Monday. He dismissed Angilau's family's lawsuit which claimed excessive force was used in the incident.

They were allowed to view the video but not release it.

The video was released after a media coalition, including The Associated Press, argued for its release as an important record in a police use-of-force case, according to the AP. Dowdell also ordered the release of the courtroom video, which had been the subject of a lengthy court battle involving media outlets, including Fox 13, over freedom of information and the First Amendment.

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