Atlanta police officer charged with murder in shooting death of Rayshard Brooks

By Rich McKay and Nathan Layne (Reuters) - A Georgia county prosecutor on Wednesday announced that a fired Atlanta police officer has been charged with felony murder in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant last week. The death of the 27-year-old Brooks - another in a long line of African-Americans killed by police - further heightened racial concerns in the United States at a time of national soul-searching over racism and police brutality. Garrett Rolfe, the white officer who shot Brooks on June 12 and was fired the next day after surveillance video showed his actions, faces 11 charges including felony murder and assault with a deadly weapon, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard told a news conference in Atlanta

Reuters June 18, 2020 02:10:42 IST
Atlanta police officer charged with murder in shooting death of Rayshard Brooks

Atlanta police officer charged with murder in shooting death of Rayshard Brooks

By Rich McKay and Nathan Layne

(Reuters) - A Georgia county prosecutor on Wednesday announced that a fired Atlanta police officer has been charged with felony murder in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant last week.

The death of the 27-year-old Brooks - another in a long line of African-Americans killed by police - further heightened racial concerns in the United States at a time of national soul-searching over racism and police brutality.

Garrett Rolfe, the white officer who shot Brooks on June 12 and was fired the next day after surveillance video showed his actions, faces 11 charges including felony murder and assault with a deadly weapon, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard told a news conference in Atlanta. Rolfe faces the possibility of life in prison or the death penalty if convicted, Howard added.

Howard said Rolfe kicked Brooks after shooting him and that Brosnan stood on the wounded man's body as Brooks was fighting for his life. Howard recommended that the judge hold Rolfe without bond.

Devin Brosnan, another white officer who was on the scene, will cooperate with prosecutors and was charged with aggravated assault and violations of his oath of office, Howard added. Brosnan has been placed on administrative leave.

Brooks did not pose an immediate threat of death to the officers and acted in a calm and "almost jovial" manner and cooperated with the police as the incident initially unfolded, Howard told reporters. Howard said he reviewed eight videos of the incident.

Video of the incident, which escalated from a call about a man who appeared intoxicated in his car at the Wendy's restaurant drive-though lane into a fatal shooting, appeared to show Brooks taking one of the officer's Taser devices and turning and pointing it at Rolfe before being shot.

The killing of Brooks came amid ongoing protests in U.S. cities prompted by the May 25 death of an African-American man named George Floyd after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while detaining him. That officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with second-degree murder. Three other Minneapolis police officers were charged with aiding and abetting.

An autopsy conducted on Sunday showed that Brooks was shot twice in the back and died from blood loss and organ injuries. The local medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide.

Brooks was reported asleep in a car in the Wendy's drive-through lane, blocking traffic. A restaurant employee called the 911 emergency telephone line, complaining about a man who would not move the vehicle and appeared intoxicated.

After interacting with Rolfe and Brosnan, Brooks tussled with the officers and ran off with one of their Taser devices.

The killing sparked protests in Atlanta. The Wendy's restaurant was burned down in the unrest.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms in the aftermath of the killing announced reforms within the police department, including orders requiring officers to de-escalate situations and directing them to intervene if they see a colleague using excessive force. Atlanta's police chief, Erika Shields, resigned following the shooting.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut and Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Will Dunham)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.