Rayshard Brooks police shooting was homicide, says medical examiner

Medical examiner concludes that Brook’s suffered two gun shot wounds after Wendy’s shooting 

Bodycam shows moments before police shoot Rayshard Brooks dead in Atlanta

Authorities in Georgia have announced that Rayshard Brooks’s death was a homicide after Atlanta police shot him twice in the back outside a restaurant last week.

His death reignited protests against systemic racism and police violence in Atlanta this weekend, some four weeks on from the Minneapolis police-involved killing of another black man, George Floyd, on 25 May.

An autopsy conducted on Sunday showed that Brooks, 27, died from blood loss and organ injuries caused by two gunshot wounds, an investigator for The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office said in a statement. The manner of his death was homicide, the statement added.

Brooks’ fatal encounter with police came after an employee of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta phoned authorities to say that someone had fallen asleep in his car in the restaurant’s drive-through lane.

The encounter between police and Brooks, which was caught on camera, appeared friendly at first as Brooks cooperated with a sobriety test and talked about his daughter’s birthday.

“I watched the interaction with Brooks and it broke my heart,” Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told CNN. “This was not confrontational. This was a guy that you were rooting for.”

Video showed how Brooks struggled with the two Atlanta cops at the scene, before breaking free and running across the parking lot with what appeared to be a police Taser.

Another video shows Brooks turning towards the officers, at which point one of them fires his gun and the man falls.

Atlanta’s police chief, Erika Shields, resigned over the shooting. The officer suspected of killing Brooks was fired, and the other officer involved in the incident, also white, was placed on administrative leave.

Protesters then took to the streets to demand criminal charges be brought against the two Atlanta officers, while crowds blocked Interstate-75 at one point on Saturday night before the Wendy’s was set alight.

On Sunday, police offered a $10,000 (£8,023) reward and published photos of what appeared to be a masked white woman being sought in connection with the case.

Police said they were seeking those responsible for the blaze, including a woman who was “attempting to hide her identity.” The department posted photos on social media of what looked to be a young white woman wearing a black baseball cap and face mask, and a video clip filmed by a protester that appeared to show a woman encouraging the flames.

“Look at the white girl trying to burn down the Wendy’s,” the man recording the video can heard saying. “This wasn’t us.”

Mayor Bottoms said on Saturday that she did not believe the shooting was a justified use of deadly force.

Lawyers for Brooks’ family said he was the father of a young daughter who was celebrating her birthday on Saturday. They said the officers had no right to use deadly force even if he had fired the Taser, a non-lethal weapon, in their direction.

Prosecutors will decide by midweek whether to bring charges, Fulton County district attorney Paul Howard said on Sunday.

“[The victim] did not seem to present any kind of threat to anyone, and so the fact that it would escalate to his death just seems unreasonable,” Mr Howard told CNN.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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