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Rayshard Brooks killer Garrett Rolfe charged with felony murder

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard brought felony murder charges against ex-police officer Garrett Rolfe in the killing of Rayshard Brooks last Friday in a Wendy’s parking lot.

Rolfe faces 11 charges, some that stem from his alleged conduct after shooting the black man twice in the back during a confrontation outside a Wendy’s. Eyewitness video emerged of Rolfe kicking Brooks after shooting him as he and his partner Devin Brosnan donned plastic gloves and picked bullet shells before rendering aid or calling for assistance for Brooks.

“It’s very difficult when you see [the footage], when you see the demeanor of Mr. Brooks to imagine that some short time later, it ends up with him being dead,” said Howard. “I thought it was cordial. He was very cooperative. He answered the questions that the officers asked. He 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.”

Brosnan, who is a cooperating witness for the state, faces three charges including aggravated assault and violation of oath. He stood on Brooks’ shoulders while Brooks was lying on the ground, Howard said.

Hours after the charges were announced, the Atlanta Police Department said an unusual number of officers called out sick from the late shift. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the city was still safely covered, and she hopes officers honor their commitment to protect and serve.

Both officers have until 6 p.m. tonight to turn themselves in.

Brooks died Friday night after being fatally shot by a white police officer during a scuffle in an Atlanta fast-food parking lot. The officer shot Brooks in the back twice as the 27-year-old fled on foot with a taser he wrestled from Brooks’ partner Devin Brosnan.

Garrett Rolfe, the officer involved in the shooting, was fired, while officer Devin Brosnan was placed on administrative leave.

“There are really three charges that are relevant: 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,” he told Whitfield. “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. In this case, that underlying felony would be aggravated assault.”

Howard said based on video from the night of the shooting, the fact that the situation escalated and resulted in death “just seems unreasonable.”

“It’s very difficult when you see [the footage], when you see the demeanor of Mr. Brooks to imagine that some short time later, it ends up with him being dead,” said Howard. “I thought it was cordial. He was very cooperative. He answered the questions that the officers asked. He 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.”

“[Since] that shot was fired for some reason other than to save that officer’s life or to prevent injury to him or others, then that shooting is not justified under the law.”

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