Two Atlanta, Georgia police officers have been charged in the death of Rayshard Brooks, and one of them has now turned himself in. According to NBC News, Officer Devin Brosnan arrived at the Fulton County Jail, after being charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of violation of oath.
On June 12, Brosnan and now-former officer Garrett Rolfe— both of whom are White — responded to a call about a man asleep in his car at Wendy's restaurant. Brooks was the individual in question. The officers administered a field sobriety test, which Brooks failed. They attempted to take him into custody, but he resisted. After a struggle, Brooks allegedly took a Taser from one of the officers and ran. Rolfe opened fire on Brooks and hit him twice in the back. Witnesses caught the incident on camera. Brooks was taken to the hospital and rushed into emergency surgery, but ultimately died of organ injuries and blood loss.
BREAKING: Atlanta officer charged in Rayshard Brooks shooting turns himself in https://t.co/wBkSSe671G— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 18, 2020
Brosnan's aggravated assault charge stems from the officer standing on Brooks' shoulders while he was dying on the ground. Rolfe has been hit with 11 charges, including felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal damage to property and violation of oath. Per The Associated Press, Rolfe’s attorneys have argued that his actions were justified because he was in fear for his life, as well as for the safety of others.
The attorneys added that Rolfe fired after hearing a sound "like a gunshot and saw a flash in front of him." This was likely due to the Taser that Brooks is alleged to have taken. "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 Rolfe's lawyers.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard disagrees, however, and states that Brooks "never presented himself as a threat" during a 40-minute interaction he had with the officers prior to the shooting. Howard added, "Mr. Brooks on the night of this incident was calm, he was cordial and really displayed a cooperative nature." He also stated that Rolfe was heard shouting "I got him," after shooting Brooks. Additionally, Howard went on to claim that Rolfe kicked Brooks as he was bleeding on the ground.