The Atlanta police body camera footage from the shooting of Rayshard Brooks shows how the incident turned from calm to violent quickly. At one point, the 27-year-old told officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan outside the Wendy's that he had just been at his daughter's birthday. Brooks was shot and killed after he took a Taser from one of the officers and tried to flee the scene. Witnesses immediately confronted the officers after another Black man was killed by White officers.
Rolfe and Brosnan arrived at the Wendy's on University Ave. at about 10:30 p.m. ET Friday because Brooks was asleep in his car, parked in the drive-thru lane. Police administered a sobriety test, which Brooks failed. In the body camera footage, Brooks said he "just had a few drinks" and "it was my daughter's birthday," notes the New York Post. Brooks told Rolfe he intended to "have a good time" and insisted he could walk home. The officers asked him if he would take a breathalyzer test which he agreed to do.
After telling Brooks had too much to drink to drive, the officers told him to put his hands behind his back so they could handcuff him. At this point, Brooks struggled and the two officers told him he would get Tasered. Brooks got a hold of one of the Tasers and fled from the two officers. After Brooks made it several feet away from the officers, gunshots rang out and Brooks fell to the ground.
Several witnesses at the scene can be heard yelling at the two officers. "You murderer! What the f—!" one person is heard yelling. Another man yelled, "You f—ing shot him? That's totally unnecessary." Another said, "That's messed up," reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Paramedics were called to the scene and took Brooks to a hospital, where he died.
Rolfe has been fired and Brosnan was put on administrative leave. Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard told CNN Rolfe might be charged with murder. "(Brooks) did not seem to present any kind of threat to anyone, and so the fact that it would escalate to his death just seems unreasonable," Howard said. "If that shot was fired for some reason other than to save that officer’s life or prevent injury to him or others, then that shooting is not justified under the law."
On Saturday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms accepted Police Chief Erika Shields' resignation over Brooks' killing. His death inspired more protests in Atlanta this weekend, in addition to demonstrations already planned in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis on May 25. The Wendy's where the shooting occurred was set on fire, while some demonstrators briefly stopped traffic on Interstate 75.