Atlanta Officer Who Killed Rayshard Brooks Kicked Him as He Lay Dying, Prosecutors Say

The Atlanta police officer who killed Rayshard Brooks also allegedly kicked him as he lay dying on the ground. According to the case prosecutors, now-former officer Garrett Rolfe kicked Brooks in the back and refused him medical attention for over two minutes, after shooting him twice in the back, after which Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard states that Rolfe yelled, "I got him!"

On Friday night, Rolfe and fellow officer Devin Brosnan responded to a call about a man asleep in his car at a Wendy's fast food restaurant. They arrived and found Brooks. They administered a field sobriety test, which Brooks failed, so they attempted to take him into custody but he resisted. Bystanders filmed the incident, which showed Brooks struggling with the officers and allegedly grabbing one of their Tasers. As Brooks ran away, Rolfe opened fire, striking him two times. Doctors took Brooks into emergency surgery, but he ultimately died of organ injuries and blood loss.

Rolfe’s attorneys argue that the ex-cop was in fear for his life, as well as for the lives and safety of others, per The Associated Press. They state that this makes the shooting justified, as Rolfe fired after allegedly hearing a sound "like a gunshot and saw a flash in front of him." This was apparently from the Taser. "Mr. Brooks violently attacked two officers and disarmed one of them. When Mr. Brooks turned and pointed an object at Officer Rolfe, any officer would have reasonably believed that he intended to disarm, disable or seriously injure him," read a statement from the lawyers.

The prosecutor, however, says that during an interaction with officers that lasted for 40 minutes prior to the shooting, Brooks "never presented himself as a threat." Howard added, "Mr. Brooks on the night of this incident was calm, he was cordial and really displayed a cooperative nature." Rolfe has been charge with murder, and Brosnan has been charged with aggravated assault for standing on Brooks' shoulders as he has bleeding out on the ground. Commenting on the charges, Georgia State University law professor Caren Morrison — who used to work as a federal prosecutor in New York — stated that they reflect a potential "sea change" in tolerance for police violence. "If they were to get a conviction, I feel like what they’re saying is that policing as we know it needs to change," she said. "This I think five years ago wouldn’t have been charged."