Police officer charged with murder of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta
The Atlanta police officer who shot Rayshard Brooks in the back has been charged with murger.
Prosecutors say that Brooks was not a deadly threat and that the officer kicked the wounded black man and offered no medical treatment for over two minutes as he lay dying on the ground.
Brooks was holding a stun gun he had snatched from officers, and he fired it at them during the clash, but he was running away at the time and was 18 feet, 3 inches from Officer Garrett Rolfe when Rolfe started shooting, District Attorney Paul Howard said in announcing the charges.
“I got him!” the prosecutor quoted Rolfe as saying.
The felony murder charge against Rolfe, 27, carries life in prison or the death penalty, if prosecutors decide to seek it. He was also charged with 10 other offenses punishable by decades behind bars.
The decision to prosecute came less than five days after the killing outside a Wendy’s restaurant rocked a city — and a nation — already roiled by the death of George Floyd under a police officer's knee in Minneapolis late last month.
“We’ve concluded at the time that Mr Brooks was shot that he did not pose an immediate threat of death,” Howard said.
A second officer, Devin Brosnan, 26, stood on Brooks’ shoulder as he struggled for his life, Howard said. Brosnan was charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath.
A lawyer for Brooks’ widow said that the charges were no reason to rejoice.
“We shouldn’t have to celebrate as African Americans when we get a piece of justice like today. We shouldn’t have to celebrate and parade when an officer is held accountable,” said Chris Stewart.
Brooks’ widow, Tomika Miller, said it was painful to hear the new details of what happened to her husband in his final minutes.
“I felt everything that he felt, just by hearing what he went through, and it hurt. It hurt really bad,” she said.
Rolfe was fired after the shooting, while Brosnan was placed on desk duty.
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