Garrett Rolfe To Face Felony Murder Charge In Rayshard Brooks’ Death, Devin Brosnan Also Charged

Brooks was shot and killed in a Wendy's parking lot on June 12.

A person holds a sign as protesters march to demand justice for Rayshard Brooks on June 16, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Brooks was shot and killed in a Wendy's parking lot on June 12.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office has obtained arrest warrants in the shooting of Rayshard Brooks. Officer Garrett Rolfe, who shot Brooks, is facing 11 criminal charges, including felony murder, according to CBS News. If convicted, he could face the death penalty or the possibility of life in prison without parole.

District Attorney Paul Howard made the announcement Wednesday. Devin Brosnan, the other officer on the scene, is facing three charges, including aggravated assault for standing on Brooks’s shoulder following the shooting. Howard said that Brosnan is willing to become a witness for the state and testify against Rolfe.

Chris Stewart, the attorney for Brooks’s family, praised Brosnan for making the decision.

“Even in dark times like this, you have to try and see the light, and the positivity of this situation is the courageousness of officer Brosnan to step forward and say what happened was wrong. It is officers like that who change policing. I know he’ll probably catch all kind of problems and hate. That’s why you become a police officer: Do what’s right,” Stewart said.

Brooks was shot and killed in the parking lot of a Wendy’s on June 12. Police responded to the restaurant after Brooks fell asleep in his rental car while waiting in the drive-thru line. Brosnan, the officer who first responded to the call, woke Brooks up and had him pull into a nearby parking spot.

Brosnan alleged that he smelled alcohol and requested the presence of a second officer who was DUI certified. Rolfe, who was fired following the incident, was called to the scene. Brooks then performed several field sobriety tests and was ultimately asked to submit to a breathalyzer. He took the test and was found to be over the legal limit. Rolfe and Brosnan then attempted to arrest him, and he resisted.

In video obtained via a body camera, Brooks can be seen struggling with the officers on the parking lot pavement. The officers told him to stop resisting. Brooks then grabbed a stun gun from one of the officers’ hands, stood up, and punched Rolfe.

Rolfe then fired his stun gun and hit Brooks, who was attempting to flee from the scene. Rolfe then chased Brooks, and Brooks fired Brosnan’s stun gun at Rolfe without hitting him. Rolfe then dropped his stun gun, pulled his handgun, and fired three shots into Brooks’s back. The entire incident took less than a minute.

Approximately three minutes after the shooting, the officers begin to administer medical aid to Brooks, though he was declared dead shortly thereafter. Howard alleges that, following the shooting, Rolfe also kicked Brooks. The district attorney also said that Brooks was “calm,” “cordial,” and “displayed a cooperative nature” in his interactions with the officers.

Brooks’s death came as protests were already occurring across the country as a result of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Following Brooks’s death, the Wendy’s where the incident took place was set on fire. Atlanta’s police chief also resigned as a result of the incident.

Brooks is survived by three children and a stepson.