Atlanta Police Officer Charged with Murder in Death of Rayshard Brooks | Sojourners

Atlanta Police Officer Charged with Murder in Death of Rayshard Brooks

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard on Wednesday announced that a fired Atlanta police officer has been charged with felony murder in the death of Rayshard Brooks. Brooks, 27, was killed on June 12 in a Wendy's parking lot after a restaurant employee called 911, saying a man in the drive thru lane would not move his vehicle.

Garrett Rolfe faces charges including felony murder and assault with a deadly weapon, Howard said. Rolfe faces life in prison or the death penalty if convicted. Devin Brosnan, another white officer who was on the scene, will cooperate with prosecutors, Howard added. Brosnan has been placed on administrative leave. 

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.

Brooks' widow, Tomika Miller, told CNN on Monday that the family celebrated her daughter's birthday this past Saturday without Brooks. Brooks had three daughters, ages 1, 2, and 8, and a 13-year-old stepson. 

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. Atlanta's police chief, Erika Shields, resigned following the shooting.

Brooks' killing is the latest in a pattern of police killings of Black men and women and comes amid nationwide protests to defund the police and reallocate funds to other crisis intervention services. 

The Louiville, Ky., police officers who shot Breonna Taylor — after using a no-knock warrant to enter her residece just after 1 a.m. on March 13 — have yet to be charged. 

Reuters reporting contributed to this article.

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