Officer Garrett Rolfe, the former Atlanta cop who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks on June 12, has been charged with murder, according to reports.
Prosecutors have determined that Brooks posed no deadly threat to Rolfe when he was shot in the back – the fact that Rolfe also kicked him and offered no medical treatment for over 2 minutes as he lay dying on the ground were also factors.
Brooks was holding a stun gun he had snatched from one of the officers when he was fired upon, but was in the process of running away and was over 18 feet clear of Officer Rolfe when he opened fire.
District Attorney Paul Howard quoted Rolfe as having said “I got him” after shooting Rayshard. The felony murder charge brought against the disgraced cop carries a maximum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty, should prosecutors choose to seek it.
“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 involved, Devin Brosnan, is meanwhile facing charges of aggravated assault and other offenses. Brosnan stood on Brooks’ shoulder as he lay dying, but is said to be cooperating with prosecutors and is set to testify. The district attorney said it was the first time in 40 cases an officer has come forward to do so.
Rolfe was fired after the shooting, while Brosnan was placed on leave. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields also resigned less than 24 hours after Brooks’s death.
Yet another tragic and unnecessary death. I hope justice is found in due course and the authorities are able to get to the very bottom of this case.
Rest in peace Rayshard Brooks.
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