Killing of Rayshard Brooks

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Killing of Rayshard Brooks
DateJune 12, 2020 (2020-06-12)
Timec. 10:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (UTC -4)
LocationAtlanta, Georgia, United States
Coordinates33.721917,-84.392083
TypeShooting
DeathsRayshard Brooks

Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old African American man, was shot and killed by a white police officer in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, on the evening of June 12, 2020.[1][2][3]

Brooks was drunk and resisted arrest. He wrestled on the ground with two police officers, one of whom tased him. Brooks stole a taser from one of the officers, then fired the taser at one of them as he ran away. The same officer then shot Brooks in the back with his sidearm.

Video of the incident went viral. Atlanta chief of police Erika Shields resigned the next day.[4][5]

Protesters later burned down the Wendy's where the shooting had taken place.[6]

One of the officers, Garrett Rolfe, was placed on administrative duty, meaning office work instead of going out into public spaces,[7] and later fired.[8] In mid-June, Rolfe was charged with eleven crimes,[9] including felony murder and aggravated assault. If a jury convicts him, Rolfe could spend life in prison or even be executed.[7] The other officer, Devin Brosnan, was charged with aggravated assault. The court issued arrest warrants for both men. They were told to turn themselves in by Thursday night, June 18.[8] Brosnan and Rolfe both came to court. Brosnan was charged and then released on bail.[10] The judge said Rolfe's crime was too serious for him to grant bail right away, so Rolfe was put in Gwinnett County Jail, and his bail hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, June 23.[11]

People involved[change | change source]

  • Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man
  • Garrett Rolfe, a white officer with the Atlanta Police Department for 13 years[12][7]
  • Devin Brosnan, a white officer with the Atlanta Police Department for 2 years[12][7]

Event[change | change source]

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, around 10:35 p.m., officers were called to the Wendy's because Brooks had fallen asleep in his car in the drive-though lane so that people had to drive around him. The officers gave Brooks a test to see if he was drunk. He failed the test, and the officers tried to arrest him. Brooks stole a taser from one officer and ran off. The GBI said Brooks fired the taser at the officer, narrowly missing him. The officer then shot Brooks. The GBI promised to release video footage of the shooting to the public.[13] These details are confirmed from the footage of the incident recorded by the camera on Wendy's.

The lawyers for Garrett Rolfe and for the prosecution said different things. Rolfe's lawyers, the LoRusso Law Firm, said that Rolfe heard a gunshot noise and saw a flash of light and thought Brooks had a real weapon. They said he fired his gun thinking he was protecting himself and the people at the Wendy's. Rolfe's lawyers said Rolfe immediately called for an ambulance and immediately tried to help Brooks.[8] According to the county district attorney, Rolfe kicked Brooks after shooting him, and neither of the two police officers tried to help Brooks for two minutes.[7]

According to the GBI and district attorneys, Brooks and the police talked peacefully for a over forty minutes before they tried to arrest him. They said he claimed he was not too drunk to drive and then offered to walk to his sister's house nearby instead of driving.[7]

Brooks was taken to a hospital where doctors performed surgery, but he died.[13]

Law[change | change source]

In Georgia, police are allowed to shoot someone if that person poses an immediate threat to any other person.[8]

Background[change | change source]

The shooting occurred two weeks into the George Floyd protests and several months into the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

Aftermath[change | change source]

There were protests outside the Wendy's where Brooks was killed. On June 13, someone set the Wendy's on fire and it burned almost completely. On June 24, Rayshard Brooks' girlfriend, Natalie White, was charged with arson for this crime. Her lawyer said she did not do it.[14]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Atlanta police shoot, kill suspect after struggle". Associated Press. June 13, 2020. Archived from the original on June 13, 2020. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
  2. Moshtaghian, Artemis; Croft, Jay (June 13, 2020). "Atlanta police officer shoots a black man dead at a fast-food drive-thru, authorities say". CNN. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
  3. Hauck, Grace (June 13, 2020). "Black Atlanta man Rayshard Brooks dies after police shooting at a Wendy's drive-thru, investigators say". USA Today. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
  4. Siegel, Rachel (June 13, 2020). "Atlanta police chief resigns after law enforcement fatally shoots black man". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
  5. Osborne, Mark; Hoyos, Joshua (13 June 2020). "Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigns in wake of fatal shooting". ABC News. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  6. ANDERSON, RUSS BYNUM and BRYNN. "Atlanta police chief resigns after fatal police shooting". WHIO.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Rick Rojas; Richard Fausset (June 17, 2020). "Former Atlanta Officer Is Charged With Murder in Shooting of Rayshard Brooks". New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Ryan Young; Eric Levenson; Steve Almasy; Christina Maxouris (June 17, 2020). "Ex-Atlanta Police officer who killed Rayshard Brooks charged with felony murder". CNN. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  9. Joan E. Greve (June 17, 2020). "Rayshard Brooks shooting: Atlanta officer charged with felony murder". Guardian. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  10. Donesha Aldridge (June 18, 2020). "Officer Devin Brosnan says what happened on night of Rayshard Brooks shooting is 'a total tragedy'". 11Alive. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  11. David K. Li (June 19, 2020). "Fired Atlanta police officer charged in Rayshard Brooks' fatal shooting will spend weekend in jail". NBC. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Malachy Browne; Christina Kelso; Barbara Marcolini (June 14, 2020). "How Rayshard Brooks Was Fatally Shot by the Atlanta Police". New York Times. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Georgia Bureau of Investigation (June 13, 2020). "GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Atlanta". Press release. https://gbi.georgia.gov/press-releases/2020-06-13/gbi-investigates-officer-involved-shooting-atlanta. Retrieved June 14, 2020. 
  14. Jorge Fitz-Gibbon (June 25, 2020). "Rayshard Brooks' 'girlfriend' out on bond in Wendy's arson case". New York Post. Retrieved June 28, 2020.