The Atlanta police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, a Black man, has been charged with felony murder.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced on Wednesday that now-former officer Garrett Rolfe would be charged with 11 counts, including felony murder and three counts of aggravated assault.
“We concluded and considered it that Mr. Brooks never presented himself as a threat” during the 41 minutes that he spoke with Rolfe and another cop, Howard said.
Within two days of the incident, Rolfe was let go from the Atlanta Police Department and the other officer, Devin Brosnan, was placed on administrative duties. Brosnan has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault and has turned state’s witness. Arrest warrants were issued Wednesday for both men.
Last Friday, police found Brooks, 27, sleeping in his car, which was blocking a Wendy’s drive-thru. Body camera video of the officers released by the department shows Brooks at first cooperating with police. But when the officers attempt to arrest him for drunk driving, he can be seen resisting and wrestling with them.
The video shows Brooks grab a Taser from one of the officers before fleeing. Three gunshots can be heard, although the video didn’t capture the sight of Brooks being fatally shot.
Additional video footage reviewed by the DA’s office, including Wendy’s surveillance cameras, shows Rolfe kicking Brooks as he lies bleeding on the ground. Brosnan stood on top of Brooks’ shoulders after the shooting, Howard said.
Rolfe, who had been on the force since 2013, had 12 disciplinary complaints, all with notes that no action was taken.
Since late May, protests have swept across the country demanding police reform following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis. After Brooks’ death, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned.
If convicted, Rolfe could face life in prison or the death penalty.