ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks in the back after the fleeing man pointed a stun gun in his direction will be charged with felony murder and 10 other charges, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Garrett Rolfe kicked Brooks while he lay on the ground and the officer with him, Devin Brosnan, stood on Brooks’ shoulder as he struggled for life after a confrontation Friday night, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said at a news conference.
“Mr Brooks was running away at the time the shot was fired,” Howard said.
Brosnan, who is being charged with aggravated assault, is cooperating with prosecutors in the case and has given testimony as a state’s witness, according to Howard, who said it’s the first time in 40 such cases where an officer has come forward to do this.
Rolfe had already been fired after he fatally shot Brooks, 27, on Friday night. Brosnan, who will be charged with aggravated assault and other crimes, had been placed on administrative leave.
Brooks’ widow, Tomika Miller, attended the news conference along with her lawyers, Justin Miller and L. Chris Stewart.
The news came as Republicans on Capitol Hill unveiled a package of police reform measures and the movement to get rid of Confederate movements and other racially offensive symbols reached America’s breakfast table, with the maker of Aunt Jemima syrup and pancake mix dropping the 131-year-old brand.
The shooting sparked new demonstrations in Georgia’s capital against police brutality, after occasionally turbulent protests in response to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis had largely simmered down. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned less than 24 hours after Brooks died.
Police were called to a Wendy’s fast food restaurant over complaints of a car blocking the drive-thru lane. An officer found Brooks asleep behind the wheel of the car and called for another officer to do field sobriety testing.
Police body camera video shows Brooks and officers having a relatively calm and respectful conversation for more than 40 minutes before things rapidly turned violent. Brooks wrestled with officers, snatched one of their stun guns and turned and pointed it at one of them as he ran through the parking lot.
An autopsy found that Brooks was shot twice in the back.