Garrett Rolfe: Police officer kicked dying Rayshard Brooks' body, prosecutors reveal

'I got him,' officer said after his fired shots, according to district attorney

Alex Woodward
New York
Thursday 18 June 2020 00:36 BST
Prosecutors say Garrett Rolfe kicked Rayshard Brooks after he was shot

The officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks not only failed to provide 'timely medical attention" for more than two minutes, now-former Atlanta Police Department officer Garrett Rolfe also "kicked Mr Brooks while he laid there on the ground, while he was there fighting for his life," according to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard.

Mr Rolfe faces a felony murder charge, as well as 10 other charges, following the shooting death of Mr Brooks, who was killed on 12 June in a Wendy's parking lot. Mr Rolfe faces life in prison without parole or the death sentence, if prosecuted. A warrant has been issued for his arrest and prosecutors have not recommended bail be set for his release.

Mr Howard said that after Mr Rolfe fired two shots into Mr Brooks's back, he said: "I got him."

The other officer at the scene, Devin Brosnan, also stood on Mr Brooks's shoulder after he was shot, according to the district attorney.

Mr Brosnan has agreed to serve as a state witness to the prosecution, Mr Howard said, though a statement from Mr Brosnan's attorney to the Atlanta Journal Constitution disputes his assertion and says that his client maintains his innocence. A warrant has also been issued for his arrest, and prosecutors recommended his bail be set at $50,000.

A statement from Mr Rolfe's attorney said that his use of force was "justified" and that "there is no compelling reason to bring any charges against" the men before the Georgia Bureau of Investigation "has completed its investigation and published its findings".

Following the shooting, Mr Rolfe was fired from the department and Mr Brosnan was placed on administrative duty.

Mr Brosnan had initially responded to a call about a man sleeping in the parking lot of a Wendy's restaurant, and arrived to find Mr Brooks, a black man, sleeping in his car in the drive-thru lane. Both officers are white.

Body-mounted camera footage from the night of the shooting shows Mr Brosnan approaching the car and asking Mr Brooks to pull into a nearby parking spot.

For the next 40 minutes, Mr Brooks "never presented himself as a threat" to officers, according to prosecutors. He followed instructions, consented to a pat down, and was never informed he was under arrest for driving under the influence. Mr Brooks also had asked whether he could walk home after failing a sobriety test, the GBI reported.

More than 40 minutes later, as Mr Rolfe attempted to place Mr Brooks in handcuffs, he struggled, then wrestled a Taser from the officers, and fired it behind him as he tried to run from the parking lot. Mr Rolfe then fired two shots into his back.

Neither officer provided medical attention for 2 minutes and 12 seconds, prosecutors said.

"The demeanour of the officers immediately after the shooting did not reflect any fear or danger of Mr. Brooks," Mr Howard said during a press conference on Wednesday. "But their actions really reflected other kinds of emotions."

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