Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced in a press conference on Wednesday that 11 charges, including capital murder, have been laid against the ex-police officer in ‘Atlanta.
Garrett Rolfe also faces several charges of aggravated assault, including with a deadly weapon, and multiple charges of violating his oath of office.
If convicted of capital murder, the ex-policeman faces life in prison without parole, or even the death penalty, said Paul Howard.
Police officer Devin Brosnan faces three counts, including aggravated assault.
Paul Howard only took four days, after the young black’s death, to make his decision and make it public.
The DA’s office concluded that Mr Brooks had been shot twice in the back, which the autopsy report had already determined, while he was on the run.
Police officers are prohibited from opening fire on a fleeing person, Howard said.
: “I got it ” “,” text “:” The moment the shot was fired, Officer Rolfe said: “I got it ” “}}” lang = “fr”>The moment the shot was fired Officer Rolfe said: “I got it”, he stressed.
We concluded that at the time Mr Brooks was shot he did not pose an immediate threat to the officer (s), he said.
Not only did officers fail to assist the victim after she was seriously injured, the available video footage shows something more disturbing, he said.
We found out that Officer Rolfe actually kicked Mr. Brooks while [celui-ci] was lying on the ground and fighting for his life.
Agent Brosman for his part admitted to having stoodBrooks immediately after the shooting “,” text “:” on the body of Mr Brooks immediately after the shooting “}}” lang = “en”>on Mr. Brooks’ body immediately after the shooting, argued the prosecutor.
Howard said he examined eight videos, including those from police intervention cameras, one from Wendy’s restaurant, near where the tragedy occurred, and those recorded by cellphones of witnesses.
Garrett Rolfe had previously been fired, and Constable Brosnan was assigned administrative duties.
They must surrender to the authorities before Thursday evening.
This is the 40th time that county police have been charged with professional misconduct and the 9th time that a murder charge has been laid against a police officer, Howard said. The nine victims were all African Americans, he said.
The defendants dismiss the charges
in all circumstances is tragic […], but Officer Rolfe’s actions were justified, argued ex-agent Rolfe’s lawyers in a statement provided to CNN.
On Fox News, President Trump said he hoped Garrett Rolfe
will be treated fairly, because the police have not been treated fairly in our country.
Prosecutor Paul Howard had also said during the press conference that Devin Brosnan had decided to testify for the state against his ex-colleague, which was denied in the evening by the lawyers of the accused.
with honesty to the prosecutor’s office everything that happened […], but he is absolutely not guilty of a crime, he will not plead guilty and he has not agreed to be a “state witness”, one of his lawyers told CNN.
During a press conference, Mr Brooks’ widow, Tomika Miller, as well as the family lawyer expressed their gratitude for his testimony.
Ms. Miller further said
dismayed by the details of her husband’s death.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, for her part, said she hopes “justice will be done” not only for Mr. Brooks’ family, but also in other cases of police brutality.
Earlier this month, she created a task force to recommend reforms, but already this week announced “immediate” changes to the use of force by police officers.
A banal episode with a dramatic outcome
Rayshard Brooks was asleep in his vehicle, which was blocking the drive-thru aisle of a branch of a fast food restaurant chain, when police responded to a call.
According to the analysis of the video images made by the New York Times, the first 40 minutes or so were peaceful, events taking a tragic turn in one minute when the police tried to handcuff him and the victim tried to flee.
Mr. Brooks attempted to escape after grabbing an electric pistol from one of the police officers. After the other officer hit him with an electric pulse, the young African American in turn, according to the footage, appeared to aim at him, with varying degrees of precision, before the officer then pulled his gun out. service.
This new police operation, which resulted in the death of a black man, came a few weeks after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked a wave of large-scale protests to denounce police brutality and demand reforms .
Mr Brooks’ death itself sparked further protests, notably in Atlanta, and led to the resignation of the chief of police.
Protests continued in Atlanta on Wednesday.
The four police officers involved in the death of George Floyd have also been charged, one of them having been charged with second degree murder among other things.
The death of the 46-year-old African American paved the way, to varying degrees, for changes in policing in several cities, but also nationally.
President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday proposing limited changes. In a law and order-focused speech in which he praised the work of police officers, he emphasized the minuscule number of bad police officers.
Democrats in the House of Representatives, for their part, presented last week a broad plan for the national reform of the police services, which notably includes a formal ban on strangulation holds and requires police officers to carry cameras on them and attach them to the dashboard of their vehicles.
Senate Republicans in turn presented a more modest version on Wednesday afternoon.