Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard has announced charges for the officers involved in the murder of Rayshard Brooks.
What We Know:
- New information was provided during the press conference including information that Brooks was kicked and stepped on after the shooting which has now been ruled a homicide. Also revealed was immediately following the shooting, Rolfe made what Howard referred to as an “excited utterance” stating “I got him.”
- The shooting officer, Garrett Rolfe, is facing 11 charges including:
- Felony murder which carries a potential sentence of life, life without parole, or the death penalty.
- Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon that carries a potential sentence of 1-20 years.
- Multiple aggravated assault charges for shooting towards three witnesses who were sitting in one of the vehicles near the shooting. Their vehicle was hit with stray bullets and they have joined the case as witnesses.
- Seven violations of office for violations of his oath of office within the City of Atlanta which carries a potential sentence 1-5 years for each violation.
- The accompanying officer, also the first officer on the scene of the incident, Devin Brosnan, has turned state’s evidence and will be giving a statement within the next few days. He has admitted to standing on Brooks’ shoulder after the shooting. Brosnan is being charged with aggravated assault for stepping on Brooks’ shoulder carrying a potential sentence of 1-20 years and 2 violations of oath including unauthorized technique and failure to render timely medical aid to Brooks immediately following the shooting.
- Howard stated regarding the surveillance video, “Mr. Brooks never displayed any aggressive behavior” also stating “he posed no threat.”
- Howard also spoke of the policy within the City of Atlanta to administer medical attention within a reasonable period of time after an incident. “After Mr. Brooks was shot, for some period…there was no medical attention applied to Mr. Brooks. What we discovered is, Officer Rolfe kicked Mr. Brooks while he was on the ground, while he was fighting for his life.”
- Two cases were used to as precedence for this case:
- Tenessee versus Garner case of 1985 which concluded when an officer is pursuing a fleeing subject, the officer may not use deadly force unless there is an immediate threat of death or serious injury to the officer.
- Graham v. Connor case of 1989, argued the constitutional definition of excessive force “in the course of an arrest, investigatory stop, or other “seizure” of a free citizen.”
- The City of Atlanta Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) prohibits firing tasers at someone who is running away. “So you certainly cannot fire a handgun at someone who is running away” stated Howard.
- Howard continued stating “Officer Rolfe’s actions were excessive and against City of Atlanta’s SOPs. We have confirmed, and Officer Rolfe was also aware, the taser in Brooks’ possession had already been fired twice and therefore posed even less of a threat to the officer.”
- Arrest warrants have been signed and both officers have been asked to surrender themselves by 6 PM EST, 6/18/20.
- Howard has advised that his office has requested bond for Brosnan in the amount of $50,000 but has requested no bond for Rolfe due to the nature of the charges.
We will continue to provide updates in this case as they are provided.