June 17, 2020

Both officers involved in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, the unarmed man sleeping in his car at a Wendy's fast food drive-through restaurant, were just formally charged in his death.

Video footage shows that Brooks wrestled with the police when they attempted to handcuff him and that he did take one of their tasers, which was useless since it had been fired twice. He then ran away. An autopsy confirmed what was on video - he was shot twice in the back as he ran away and posed no threat to the officers.

"At no time was Mr. Brooks ever a threat to anyone," said his attorney after hearing the DA lay out the charges.

The first officer, Garrett Rolfe, was charged with eleven individual charges, the most serious being Felony Murder. The video and photos brought even more horrific details to light than initially knew - not only did he know that the stun gun that Brooks had taken was non operational, but he kicked him in the head after he was shot and was laying on the ground, dying. Officer Rolfe has already been fired.

The other officer, Brosnan, will be charged with three individual charges, the most serious being Aggravated Assault. It was reported during the press conference that Brosnan is already a cooperating witness. Brosnan remains on the force and has been placed on administrative leave.

It is unheard of for a police officer to come out and offer to work with prosecutors in a case involving a fellow officer. As Paul Butler explains in the clip above, Georgia police officers have killed 192 people in the last five years. Only one has been charged with murder before today. The Police Union will be up in arms about this, but the evidence as it was laid out is overwhelming against both of them.

"In Georgia, police are only allowed to use deadly force if they reasonably believe that they are about to be killed or seriously hurt or someone else is about to be killed and seriously hurt," Butler explained. "So the issue will be whether it was reasonable for Officer Rolfe to think that Mr. Brooks was about to kill him."

Given that both bullets hit Mr. Brooks in the back because he was fleeing, causing the coroner to rule it as homicide, it's going to be a hard road for Rolfe, particularly with his partner turning against him.

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