Rayshared Brooks is an African-American 27-year old man living in Atlanta, Georgia. Brooks worked at a Mexican restaurant, married with three daughters and one stepson.
The “murder” was captured on video. Within 24-hours of Brooks’s murder, the policeman was terminated. The Chief of Police, Erika Shields, resigned as a political move or an attempt to avoid negative publicity in the middle of worldwide protest following the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
On Friday, June 12, 2020, the Atlanta Police Department responded to a complaint that a man was sleeping in a car blocking a Wendy’s drive-through lane.
Atlanta Police Officer Devin Brosnan responded to the call.
Officer Brosnan awakened Brooks, requesting that he park his car while Brosnan called for backup. Police Department’s High-Intensity Traffic Team DUI task force officer Garrett Rolfe responded.
Rolfe questioned Brooks. Brooks clearly responded inconsistently, leading to a field sobriety test using a breathalyzer. Brooks’s alcohol level reportedly returned .108, which is above the legal limit of .08.
Rolfe informed Brooks that his alcohol level is above the limit permitted to operate a vehicle. Rolfe ordered Brooks to place his hands behind his back. As the videos illustrate, Brooks resisted arrest, and the officers wrestled Brooks to the ground. Brooks did punch one of the officers. During this event, one of the officers yelled to Brooks, “You’re going to get tased,” and warned hands off the Taser.”
Brooks was able to get a taser from one of the officers and freed himself, then attempted to run away, firing the Taser at Rolfe. In return for Brooks firing a non-fatal taser at Rolfe, Rolfe returned to fire his military-grade firearm three times, hitting Brooks in the back two times (confirmed by autopsy).
While in surgery, Brooks died, and one of the officers was treated for an injury.
An autopsy reported Brooks was shot twice in the back, resulting in his death, and was ruled a homicide.
Atlanta, Georgia Police Department requested the GBI (Georgia Bureau of Investigation) to investigate the incident. The GBI will turn the investigation results over to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office, which will decide whether criminal charges will be filed against either officer.
Demonstrators flooded Wendy’s location where Brooks was murdered on June 12 and 13, which resulted in it being burned down.
This situation is far from over; therefore, this content will be added as more information is available.
Considering high tensions as a result of the murder of George Floyd, the timing of another event is unfortunate. Protests around the world are demanding police reform, with some demanding de-funding the police.
A controversial chain of events supports that change is necessary. As a society, we need some form of support and protection for domestic situations. Some suggestions are:
- Defund the police
- Firearms carried by police downgraded to less-lethal weapons, unlike the military-grade carried now.
- Removing firearms from police officers or equip a few that are highly trained with proven experience to deal with escalated situations
There are many countries that police do not carry firearms. Training is critical. Deescalating situations, rather than escalating, should be a focal point. Many people, including African-Americans, are fearful of police and current tensions are high after a series of unfortunate police-involved deaths. Police should be respected, not feared. Some people and groups are claiming that the fear has turned into revolt to stimulate change.