Former Atlanta Police Officer Charged With Murder After Shooting of Rayshard Brooks

Posted: Jun 17, 2020 4:30 PM
Former Atlanta Police Officer Charged With Murder After Shooting of Rayshard Brooks

Source: Atlanta Police Department via AP

A former Atlanta law enforcement officer, Garrett Rolfe, who shot and killed Georgia resident Rayshard Brooks at an Atlanta Wendy’s was charged with felony murder, among other offenses, on Wednesday, per the Fulton County District Attorney’s office. The other charges include violation of oath and aggravated assault. A second officer on the scene was also charged with aggravated assault and violation of oath.

Per previous footage of the incident, Brooks was cooperative with law enforcement after being pulled over for driving under the influence. Upon failing the routine breathalyzer test, law enforcement on the scene struggled to take Brooks into custody. Brooks managed to grab an officer’s taser and charged toward Rolfe. This escalation led Rolfe to shoot Brooks. 

Rolfe’s defense team argues that the officers involved were completely within their rights, given Brooks’ violent behavior, via Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC):

"A peace officer may use deadly force to 1. arrest a suspected felon when he reasonably believes that the suspect poses an immediate threat of physical violence to the officer or others, 2. to protect himself and others from a life-threatening injury, and 3. to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. 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.”

This is a developing story.