On Wednesday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced that warrants have been issued for the arrest of the cops involved in the shooting of Rayshard Brooks.
Former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe, the man who fired the shots that killed Brooks, has been charged with felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal damage as well as multiple violations of office according to the Washington Post. In all, Rolfe faces a total of 11 charges. He also faces life without parole or the death penalty if found guilty. The other officer involved in the incident, Devin Brosnan, was placed on administrative leave and faces charges of aggravated assault.
On June 12, Atlanta police responded to a call of a man who was possibly intoxicated and passed out in his car at a Wendy’s. Howard said that in reviewing the footage of the 41-minute incident, Brooks never presented himself as a threat. He cooperated with the officers, moved his car when they asked him to, informed the officers he didn’t have a weapon and allowed them to pat him down to make sure.
At a press conference announcing the charges, Howard said that Rolfe violated APD protocol multiple times during the shooting and that he did not announce that Brooks was under arrest for DUI before he tried to arrest him, which is a requirement for Atlanta police officers. Additionally, Atlanta police officers are not allowed to fire either their gun or their taser at a fleeing suspect unless they pose a threat to the officers. Lastly, after shooting a suspect an officer is required to provide timely medical assistance to the victim which the officers did not.
The charges of aggravated assault stem from the fact that Rolfe is seen kicking Brooks after he’s been shot, Howard said. Brosnan is also seen on camera standing on Brooks’ shoulder after the shooting. One of the more notable developments from the press conference was that Brosnan agreed to work as a cooperating witness for the state, one of the first Atlanta officers to testify in a case of this nature, according to the Washington Post.
The officers have until 6 p.m. Thursday to turn themselves in before being taken into custody. While charges have been filed, the officers will have to go before a grand jury before they can be indicted. Howard noted that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, that may not occur until October.