WARNING: SOME MAY FIND THE IMAGES IN THIS STORY DISTURBING.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Video from inside a Utah courtroom is only 24 seconds long, but it's taken years for officials to let the public see it. The video shows a U.S. marshal shoot and kill an alleged gang member as the suspect tries to attack a witness. The man's family is suing, and feels the deputy used excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
The video shows the defendant, Siale Angilau, grab a pen off the defense table and charge the witness stand. The marshal fires four shots, killing the 25-year-old on trial for racketeering.
Angilau's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, saying the shackled witness wasn't in danger after the first shot. The judge dismissed the case.
"Those last three shots were all after he's been shot once, down on the ground, in the back," said attorney Robert Sykes. "And that's the problem I have with this case."
The family may appeal.
An FBI investigation also found the shooting justified, and cleared the marshal of any wrongdoing.
Unsealing the dramatic video was intensely debated, pitting the government against the media. The DOJ argued gang members may retaliate against the marshal. News outlets argued it was a public record in a case against police.
The media won, but it took four years.
Sykes reiterated, "They don't need to shoot to kill this young man."
But the public can't overturn the judge's decision. At least thanks to the courtroom video, people can decide for themselves.