Charges Will Be Dropped in Rayshard Brooks Shooting

Black man was shot in the back after struggle with Atlanta officers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2022 5:43 PM CDT
Charges Will Be Dropped in Rayshard Brooks Shooting
This screen grab taken from body camera video provided by the Atlanta Police Department shows Rayshard Brooks, right, as he speaks with Officer Garrett Rolfe, left, in the parking lot of a Wendy's restaurant in Atlanta, June 12, 2020.   (Atlanta Police Department via AP, File)

More than two years after Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by police outside a Wendy's in Atlanta, a special prosecutor has decided not to pursue charges against the two officers involved. Pete Skandalakis said Tuesday that he plans to dismiss all 11 criminal counts, including a felony murder charge, against Officer Garrett Rolfe, who shot Brooks after he grabbed an officer's Taser, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Officer Devin Brosnan will have charges including aggravated assault dismissed.

Rolfe was fired days after the June 12, 2020 shooting, but he was reinstated last year after a civil service board ruled he had not received due process. The shooting of Brooks three weeks after the death of George Floyd reignited protests in Atlanta and the Wendy's was set on fire by protesters. "Black lives do matter," Skandalakis said Tuesday, per CNN. "I understand that the encounters between police and the African American community at times are very volatile. But I would ask them to look at the facts of this case, and this isn't one of those cases. This is a case in which the officers were willing to give Mr. Brooks every benefit of the doubt and unfortunately, by his actions, this is what happened."

Skandalakis said the officers, who tried to arrest Brooks after he was found asleep in the restaurant's drive-thru lane and failed a field sobriety test, faced a "quickly evolving" situation after Brooks struggled with the officers and fired the Taser at Rolfe as he ran away. Rolfe shot Brooks twice in the back. L. Chris Stewart, a lawyer for Brooks’ family, said Tuesday that deadly force would have been justified during the fight, but officers "decided to use lethal force as a man was running away, 19 feet away," the AP reports. The Atlanta Police Department says both officers are still on administrative duty and will undergo training. (Read more Rayshard Brooks stories.)

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