Garrett Rolfe Altanta Police Officer who shot Rayshard Brooks fleeing faces felony murder as DA questions if police life was in danger.
Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard said his office will decide this week if Garrett Rolfe, who was fired following Friday’s fatal shooting, will be charged in the case — and said that could mean a murder charge, he told CNN.
Were cops lives ever in threat?
The three charges being considered against Rolfe, include murder, felony murder and voluntary manslaughter, Howard said.
‘[Brooks] did not seem to present any threat to anyone. The fact that it would escalate to his death seems unreasonable,’ Howard said.
‘(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.’
‘There are really three charges that are relevant,’ he added. ‘One would be the murder charge in the state of Georgia. That charge is a charge that is directly related to an intent to kill. The second charge is felony murder. And that is a charge that involves a death that comes as a result of the commission of an underlying felony, and in this case, that underlying felony would be aggravated assault.’
‘But I believe in this instance, what we have to choose between — if there’s a choice to be made — is between murder and felony murder.’
4. And for what? There was no plausible reason to shoot Brooks, rather than chase after him (assuming they couldn’t just let him run away and then arrest him at home later). Shooting him was totally irrational. And yet a guy who’d been a cop for 7 years still did it.
— James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) June 14, 2020
Brooks shooting death declared a homicide
Howard said in a release that an autopsy of Brooks’ body was completed Sunday, and that the medical examiner’s report and ballistics information will be required for him to make the call.
However, he said prosecutors ‘are still experiencing some difficulty in obtaining all of the body cam and dash cam footage from the Atlanta Police Department.’
Come Sunday evening, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office declared Brooks’ death a homicide early Sunday evening.
Brooks, 27, was shot by Rolfe during a foot chase following a field sobriety test in the parking lot of an Atlanta Wendy’s restaurant Friday. Rolfe and a second officer, Devin Brosnan, chased Brooks after he grabbed one of their Tasers and ran off.
#Atlanta cops #GarrettRolfe & Devin Bronsan gave #RayshardBrooks no immediate aid as he lay dying—he was still alive—in a Wendy’s parking lot after being shot 3 times in the back by Rolfe. Instead, they cleaned up the murder scene:#BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/bpMl6qdiI5
— MK-Ultra News (@mkultranews) June 14, 2020
Latest shooting of fleeing black man caught on tape
He was shot three times in the back while fleeing, having at one point turned and aimed the stolen taser towards cops.
Rolfe was fired Saturday and Brosnan was put on administrative leave.
Brooks’ shooting is the latest caught-on-video death of a black man by police in recent months — and has sparked new outrage among protesters already inflamed by last month’s death of George Floyd at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer and the February killing of black jogger Ahmaud Arbery by three white men now charged with murder in Brunswick, Georgia.
Fired Atlanta officer Garrett Rolf said after shooting #RayshardBrooks “I got him” according to Fulton County, GA. D.A Paul Howard on CNN. Decision on charges “likely by Wednesday”. He can face murder or felony murder according to D.A Howard. pic.twitter.com/6N0moCDFZ9
— Arantxa Loizaga (@arantxaloizaga) June 14, 2020
Saving lives or achieving mandate?
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is now probing Brooks’ shooting death, and Howard said his office will make a decision on whether to file criminal charges ‘around Wednesday.’
The key to making that decision will be determining if the officers involved felt their lives were in danger, Howard said.
‘There’s one good thing about video,’ Howard told CNN, ‘because in the video we actually get a chance to hear the officer’s first statement after the shooting took place. And what the officer said is not that his life was saved. What his statement was, he said, ‘I got him.”