A former Atlanta police officer is charged with felony murder, among other things, for shooting Rayshard Brooks in the back. The turbulent protests ignited by the May 25 police killing of another Black man, George Floyd in Minneapolis, had barely simmered down when Brooks was killed last week.
STEPHANNIE STOKES, BYLINE: Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard emphasized how the encounter between Rayshard Brooks and the Atlanta police started.
Rolfe is charged with felony murder for shooting a fleeing Brooks in a Wendy's parking lot last week after a DUI stop, a case that sparked a new wave of demonstrations against police brutality.
Rolfe faces the possibility of life in prison or the death penalty if convicted, Mr Howard added. Brosnan, who did not discharge his weapon, faces a handful of lesser charges, including aggravated assault and violation of his oath. "Who could watch that?"
Brooks was found sleeping in his auto at a Wendy's drive-thru, and after what was at first a very cordial interaction, an altercation broke out between him and two officers when one of them tried to arrest him after a failed sobriety test.
Adding to Howard's tenuous political future is the fact that he himself is under scrutiny by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) for allegedly illegally supplementing his income by funneling $140,000 to his salary from a nonprofit. Remedial training was recommended for Rolfe, though it was not immediately clear whether he ultimately received it.
On Wednesday, June 17, officers with the Atlanta Police Department stopped responding to calls in three of the city's six zones, according to reporting from CNN.
That officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder.
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It's not up to his publisher to decide whether or not they've gone through the process. "This is unprecedented, really", the attorney general said.
Howard said that a review of eight video recordings of the incident, from police cameras and bystander phone recordings, and multiple witnesses, showed the officers themselves never displayed fear of danger from Brooks.
Following Mr Brooks' death, protesters took to the streets of Atlanta, demanding justice for Mr. Brooks. His widow, Ms Tomika Miller, told reporters: "I am really hurt, and all I can think about is what if my husband was still here".
Donald Trump has weighed in on the shooting of Rayshard Brooks and the officer charged with his murder, claiming United States police are not "treated fairly". The officers spoke to Brooks for about 40 minutes, ran a breathalyzer test, and then tried to handcuff Brooks, who resisted.
"So he certainly can not fire a handgun at someone running away", Howard added.
"The officers I've spoken to say they have no direction from the new leadership, and that's a concern because they need to know who's got their back".
Police were called to the Wendy's on June 12 over complaints of a vehicle blocking the drive-thru lane.
Though there has been an increase in call outs, the department reassured they still have enough resources to keep the city safe. The Wendy's restaurant was burned down in the unrest. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has ordered new policies to limit officers' use of deadly force, while City Council members proposed greater police oversight. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned just hours after Brooks died. He said Brosnan's conduct on the night of the shooting was "exemplary" and a "textbook example" of how an officer should approach a situation involving someone inebriated, as Brooks was that night.