Siale Angilau, a member of the Tongan Crips gang, was filmed grabbing a pen or pencil before running towards the witness, another gang member.
A USA marshal fired four times at close range at the defendant inside as he rushed to the witness stand, jumped and swung with a pen at a shackled witness. He is behind the witness stand. The family argued Angilau only had a pen and the four shots fired were excessive.
"Angilau intentionally fled the defense table to attack the witness with a pen, and his actions placed the witness, as well as other innocent bystanders just feet away, in harm's way", Dowdell wrote in his ruling.
In a statement obtained by Deseret News US District Court Judge John Dowdell said the video contradicts the plaintiff's argument that Angilau stopped posing a danger within less than one second of launching himself at the witness stand. The officer who fired the shots points his gun at Angilau, who, positioned behind the witness stand, is no longer visible in the video.
"There was no need to use deadly force", Sykes said.
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Angilau was in court after being one of 17 named in a 29-count racketeering indictment filed in 2008.
He was the last defendant in the case to stand trial, with previous defendants being sentenced to between 10 and 30 years in prison.
A federal judge has released the four-year-old courtroom video of the intense moment a defendant is fatally shot as he attacks a witness in Salt Lake City.
Officials at the Department of Justice wanted the video kept under seal over concerns it could lead to retaliatory gang violence.
Faces of nearly all the people present inside the courtroom at the time, including the judge is blurred in the video. 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.