On June 12, 2020, Rayshard Brooks fell asleep behind the wheel of his car in the drive-thru line of a Wendy’s in Atlanta, prompting a Wendy’s employee to call the police. Atlanta police officers Garrett Rolfe and Devon Brosnan responded to the call and made contact with Brooks. As can be seen in body cam footage that has since been released, the encounter between Brooks and the two white officers was initially calm and cooperative. The officers questioned Brooks about his activities that night and how he ended up asleep in the Wendy’s parking lot. The officers also administered field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer. After the breathalyzer, the officers attempted to place Brooks in handcuffs. Brooks attempted to flee, and a struggle ensued. Brooks managed to grab a Taser from one of the officers before running away. Officer Garrett Rolfe fired three shots at the fleeing Brooks, striking him twice in the back. Brooks died after undergoing surgery at a nearby hospital.
Protests in response to the killing of Rayshard Brooks started in the early morning hours of Saturday, June 13th. By evening, the protests had grown in size and intensity, and the Wendy’s where Rashard Brooks was killed was set on fire. Early that same day, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned, stating that she wanted to allow the city the opportunity to move forward. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for the immediate termination of the officer involved in the shooting of Rayshard Brooks, saying she did not “believe that this was a justified use of deadly force.” Officer Rolfe has been fired and Officer Brosnan has been placed on administrative leave.
In a story for CBS News, journalist Jeffrey Pegues reported that in a recently released disciplinary report, it was revealed that Officer Rolfe recently underwent at least 8 hours of de-escalation training. Officer Rolfe has fired his gun at least two other times before Friday night’s fatal shooting of Rashard Brooks. A 2017 incident resulted in a written reprimand. Also, Officer Rolfe crashed his squad car on more than one occasion.
On Sunday, June 14th, the Fulton County Medical Examiner ruled the death of Rashard Brooks as a homicide. Charges have not been brought against either officer involved in the shooting of Rashard Brooks. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. said that his decision whether to bring charges will depend on whether the officers believed that Brooks posed a threat. A decision as to charges may be made as early as this Wednesday, June 17th.
We here at Black Hollywood Live are in full support of the Black Lives Matter movement, so please continue to tune in to our network daily for more coverage!
About The Author:
LaToya Blakely is an attorney, actress and host dedicated to making a difference and serving the underserved. “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. You can follow her on Instagram @latoya.blakely and Twitter @BlakelyLaToya.
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