Ex-Atlanta Officer Faces 11 Charges for Killing Rayshard Brooks
A former Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks now faces 11 charges, including felony murder, amid weeks of nationwide protests against police brutality. The ex-cop fired three shots, two of which hit the victim in the back, and another hit a car with three civilians inside.
On Wednesday, District Attorney Paul Howard announced the charges against ex-officer Garret Rolfe who shot 27-year-old Brooks at a Wendy's parking lot. Devin Brosnan, the second officer at the crime scene, also received three charges - including aggravated assault and violation of oath, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Following the announcement, Howard faced the media at a news conference where he said they concluded that the victim posed no immediate threat to the officers at the time of the murder.
The district attorney said his office interviewed multiple witnesses and reviewed footage from the officers' body cameras and dash-cameras. A CCTV video from Wendy's and physical evidence was also included in the examination.
During the hearing, Howard displayed photographs where Brosnan was seen standing on the victim's shoulders as Rolfe kicked him following the shooting, reports CNN. He also said Brooks was never informed he was under arrest for driving under the influence.
Both officers were also charged for failing to provide timely medical attention to the victim. After the shooting, Rolfe exclaimed "I got him" before kicking the victim.
According to a video analysis by the New York Times, police officers were called to a Wendy's restaurant in South Atlanta at 10:33 PM after Rayshard Brooks, the victim, fell asleep in his vehicle, blocking the drive-through.
At 10:42 PM, Officer Brosnan arrives. He wakes Brooks and asks him to park in a nearby car space before calling police dispatch to request another officer.
Officer Rolfe arrives at 10:56 PM and questions Brooks who claimed he was dropped off at the restaurant-a statement Rolfe rejects. Over the next 27 minutes, the two officers conduct a sobriety test to which Brooks complies. When asked to take a breath test for alcohol, Brooks admits he had been drinking and offers to lock up his vehicle and walk home to his sister's house instead.
At 11:23 PM, Rolfe tells Brooks he had too much to drink before proceeding to handcuff him. A fight ensues between the victim and the officers. In footage filmed by a witness, Brooks was seen grappling with the officers. He seized a Taser from Brosnan and punched Rolfe who responded by firing his stun gun.
Brooks run away while holding Brosnan's Taser. Rolfe, who gives chase while trying to stun Brooks, was seen passing the stun gun from his right hand to his left hand and reaches for his handgun.
While being chased, Brooks looks behind him and fires the Taser in Rolfe direction. The officer discards his stun gun, draws his handgun, and fires three times-two bullets hit Brooks' back, while another hit a nearby car with three civilians inside.
For the next two minutes, neither officer provides medical assistance to Brooks, who was still moving on the ground. At 11:25 PM, Rolfe and Brosnan begin to perform first-aid on the victim after a third police officer arrives at the scene.
At 11:30 PM, an ambulance arrives to rush Brooks to the hospital. He died eight minutes later during surgery.
During the hearing, an attorney for Rolfe claimed his client's actions were justified, while Don Samuel, Brosnan's attorney, said the charges were irrational. Brosnan's lawyer also alleged the officer suffered bruises and a concussion after he was knocked to the ground during the struggle.
A felony murder conviction carries a possible life sentence without parole or the death penalty. Brosnan, who was charged with aggravated assault, could face one to twenty years behind bars.
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