Politics

Fired cop charged with murder in shooting of Rayshard Brooks at Atlanta Wendy's

Key Points
  • The former Atlanta police officer who fatally shot a Black man in the back as he pointed a taser at the cops he was fleeing from has been charged with felony murder, a prosecutor said.
  • Garrett Rolfe, the fired officer who shot Rayshard Brooks, faces 11 charges in total, according to the Fulton County District Attorney's Office.
  • Another officer with Rolfe in the confrontation, Devin Brosnan, also faces charges including aggravated assault.
Former Atlanta Police Department officer Garrett Rolfe searches 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy's restaurant parking lot in a still image from the video body camera of officer Devin Bronsan in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. June 12, 2020.
Atlanta Police Department | Reuters

The former Atlanta police officer who fatally shot a Black man in the back as he pointed a taser at the cops he was fleeing from has been charged Wednesday with felony murder, a prosecutor said.

Garrett Rolfe, the fired officer who shot Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy's parking lot, faces 11 charges in total. Another officer involved in the incident, Devin Brosnan, also faces charges including aggravated assault, according to the Fulton County District Attorney's Office.

The charges came in the midst of a nationwide protest movement against police brutality and racism sparked by the killing of George Floyd by a White officer in Minneapolis and other Black men and women who died in altercations with police.

District Attorney Paul Howard said at a news conference Wednesday that Brosnan stood on Brooks' body after the shooting and Rolfe kicked him. Howard is asking both men to surrender by 6 p.m. Thursday.

Brooks, 27, was killed in the parking lot of a Wendy's fast-food restaurant on June 12 after the police were called about a man sleeping in his car in the drive-thru lane.

VIDEO1:4701:47
The fatal police shooting of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks ruled a homicide

Brooks was questioned at length by the officers about his sobriety, body-cam and dash-cam footage of the incident showed. As officers moved to arrest Brooks, he pulled away, bringing him and the officers to the ground as he struggled to break free. Footage showed him grabbing one of the officers' stun guns before appearing to run away.

As Rolfe gave chase, Brooks appeared to turn and point the stun gun at the officer, who pulled out his firearm and shot Brooks.

"I believe a reasonable person would conclude he was not a threat at that time," Howard said of Brooks.

In addition to being charged with felony murder, Rolfe faces charges of aggravated assault, criminal damage to property, four charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and four charges of violating his oath, the district attorney's office said.

Brosnan faces one charge of aggravated assault and two charges of violating his oath, according to the DA.

Protests erupted in Atlanta following Brooks' death. The Wendy's where Brooks was shot was burned down the following night, and protesters blocked traffic on a nearby highway.