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Atlanta Officers Won't Face Charges In Death of Rayshard Brooks

A special prosecutor said the two white Atlanta policer officers in a clash with Rayshard Brooks that ended with the 27-year-old Black man's fatal shooting will not be charged, reports the Associated Press. Officer Garrett Rolfe, who shot and killed Brooks in June 2020, and officer Devin Brosan faced a “quickly evolving” situation when Brooks grabbed one of their Tasers during an arrest attempt, said Pete Skandalakis of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia. In the midst of tensions and protests nationwide, Brooks' killing set off new demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice that had subsided after the death of another Black man, George Floyd. Acknowledging the encounters between police and the African-American communities as sometimes "very volatile", Skandalakis said context is important and doesn't believe race was a determining factor in this instance.

On June 12, 2020, police responded to complaints of a man sleeping in a car in the drive-thru lane of a Wendy’s restaurant. Footage shows Brooks and the officers having a calm conversation for about 40 minutes. When told he'd had too much to drink to be driving and would be arrested, Brooks resisted in a struggle caught on dash camera video. Brooks grabbed a Taser from one officers and fled, firing it at Rolfe as he ran. Rolfe fired his gun. An autopsy found that Brooks was shot twice in the back. Less than 24 hours later, Police Chief Erika Shields resigned and protesters set fire to the Wendy’s. Former Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter, co-counsel in the case, said Brooks began to "beat the crap" out of the two officers after a lawful attempt to arrest him. He believes Rolfe acted in accordance with Georgia law and Atlanta Police Department policy. Rolfe’s charges included felony murder, aggravated assault and violation of his oath. Brosnan was charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath. Both officers are on administrative duty and will undergo training and recertification.


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