Two police officers in Atlanta who faced charges after shooting and killing a fleeing Rayshard Brooks in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant in June 2020 amid escalating BLM rioting got major news about their cases on Tuesday.
According to reports, authorities announced that the pair will not face any charges for using deadly force.
“Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, said Officer Garret Rolfe, who shot Brooks twice in the back, and Officer Devin Bronson, of the Atlanta Police Department, faced a ‘dynamic situation’ that was ‘quickly evolving.’ Such factors prompted the special prosecutor to drop the charges against the officers,” The Daily Wire reported.
The report continued:
On June 12, 2020, Rolfe and Brosnan responded to a call about a man who fell asleep at the wheel while waiting in the drive-thru lane of a Wendy’s restaurant in South Atlanta. The officers approached Brooks and spoke to him for nearly 40 minutes before concluding that the 27-year-old man had imbibed too much alcohol.
Patrol car and body-cam footage from the officers revealed Brooks admitting that he consumed alcohol before his encounter with law enforcement. He would later consent to a portable field alcohol test that came back above the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content. As soon as the officers tried to detain Brooks, he resisted arrest and wrestled his way out of the officers’ control, who both fell to the ground during the incident, resulting in Brosnan’s concussion.
While the struggle continued, Brooks managed to secure control of Brosnan’s Taser, and as he fled the officers, he turned to fire at Rolfe, leading Rolfe to fire three shots at Brooks in what many saw as an act of self-defense at that time.
“Based on the facts and circumstances confronting Officer Rolfe and Officer Brosnan in this case, it is my conclusion the use of deadly force was objectively reasonable and that they did not act with criminal intent,” Skandalakis said, per the UK’s Daily Mail.
The Associated Press also noted that Skandalakis called the situation “a peaceful encounter that all of a sudden becomes a violent encounter.”
Following the shooting, officials with the Atlanta Police Department terminated Rolfe the next day. Later, authorities announced they obtained warrants against him for felony murder, aggravated assault, and violation charges. But in May 2021, less than a year later, officials overturned the charges following a board review that determined the city did not correctly follow procedures regarding officer discipline. Rolfe, at the time of his firing, had been with the department for six years. Both officers have since been rehired.
Meanwhile, a warrant filed against Brosnan cited aggravated assault and violation of his oath.
The Daily Wire reported that the Atlanta PD says it respects the decision by the special prosecutor and retains faith in the criminal justice system.
“Both Officer Garrett Rolfe and Officer Devin Brosnan are still employed with APD,” the department said, as reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “They are currently on administrative duty. Both officers will undergo Georgia P.O.S.T. recertification and training.”
The Daily Wire added:
Brooks’ death came amid ongoing violent riots and protests that raged across the United States by Antifa agitators and some Black Lives Matter activists over the death of George Floyd, who was killed a few weeks before by Minneapolis police officers.
Just 24 hours after the two Atlanta policemen killed Brooks, rioters burned down the Wendy’s restaurant where the incident occurred.
“Black lives do matter,” Skandalakis noted during a press conference this week, according to Daily Mail. “I’ve spent my entire career representing black victims of crime. I understand that the encounters between police and the African American community at times are very volatile. But I would ask them to look at the facts of this case, and this isn’t one of those cases.
“This is a case in which the officers were willing to give Mr. Brooks every benefit of the doubt, and unfortunately, by his actions, this is what happened,” he added.