Prosecutors murder charges on Wednesday against the white Atlanta police officer who shot Rayshard Brooks in the back, saying that Brooks was not a deadly threat and that the officer kicked the wounded black man, and has not offered any medical treatment for more than 2 minutes, as he lay on the ground.
Brooks was holding a stun gun he had snatched from officers, and he fired at them during the fight, but he left the house at the time and was 18 feet, 3 inches from the Agent Garrett Rolfe when Rolfe started shooting, District Attorney Paul Howard said in announcing the charges.
“I got him!” the district attorney quoted Rolfe as saying.
The decision to move came five days after the murder outside a restaurant Wendy’s has rocked a city and a nation already shaken by the death of George Floyd under a police officer’s knee in Minneapolis at the end of the month.
The felony murder charge against Rolfe, 27, door of life imprisonment or the death penalty, if the prosecutor decides to seek it. He was also charged with 10 other crimes punishable by decades behind bars.
“We concluded at the time that Mr. Brooks was shot that it did not pose an immediate threat of death,” Howard said.
A second agent, Devin Brosnan, 26 years old, was on an injured Brooks’ shoulder as he struggled for his life, Howard said. Pierce Brosnan has been accused of aggravated assault and violating his oath.
The district attorney said pierce Brosnan is co-operating with prosecutors and will testify, saying that it was the first time in 40 cases in which an officer had come forward to do so. But a lawyer for pierce Brosnan has categorically denied that he had agreed to be a prosecution witness and said that he was not pleading guilty to anything.
A lawyer for Brooks widow cautioned that the charges have no reason to rejoice.
“We shouldn’t have to celebrate as african-Americans, when we receive a piece of justice, as today. We should not have to celebrate and parade when an officer is held accountable,” said attorney L. Chris Stewart.
Brooks’s widow, Tomika Miller, has said that it is painful to hear the new details of what happened to her husband in her last minutes.
“I felt everything he felt, just by hearing what he has lived through, and it hurts. It hurts really bad,” she said.
The news came on a day of rapid developments involving race and equal justice. The republicans on Capitol Hill unveiled a set of measures to reform the police. And the movement to get rid of Confederate monuments, and other racist symbols reached America of the breakfast table, with the manufacturer of Aunt Jemima syrup and pancake mix falling in the 131 years of the brand.
Brooks ” put to death Friday evening has sparked new protests in the Georgian capital against the brutality of the police, sometimes after turbulent protests over Floyd’s death had largely disappeared. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned less than 24 hours after Brooks died, and the Wendy’s restaurant was burned.
Rolfe has been fired after the shooting, while pierce Brosnan has been placed on the bureau of customs.
In front of the district attorney of the announcement, Rolfe lawyers released a statement saying that the police officer feared for his safety and that of others around him and was justified in the shooting Brooks. Rolfe opened fire after hearing a noise “like a gunshot and saw a flash in front of him, apparently, from the Taser.
“Mr. Brooks violently attacked two officers and disarmed one of them. When Mr. Brooks turned and pointed an object at the Agent Rolfe, any officer has reasonable grounds to believe that he had the intention to disarm, disable, or seriously injure him,” the lawyers said.
But the district attorney said the Taser that Brooks had already been shot twice and was, therefore, void and no longer a threat.
Pierce Brosnan is a lawyer, Amanda Clark Palmer, said that the accusations against him were baseless. She said Brosnan was on the injured hand, not his shoulder, for a short period of time (seconds, to ensure that Brooks did not have a weapon.
About 50 protesters were gathered in the parking lot of the restaurant is now a burned shell with “RIP” and “Rayshard” spray-painted on c’ – that the charges have been announced. The news prompted a few raised fists.
The Police had been called to the restaurant, the complaint of a car blocking the drive-thru lane. An officer found Brooks asleep at the wheel of the car, and a breathalyzer showed he was intoxicated.
Police bodycam video showed Streams and leaders with a relatively calm and respectful conversation, “almost cheerful,” according to the district attorney for more than 40 minutes before things quickly turned violent when the officers tried to handcuff him. Brooks has struggled with the officers, snatched one of their batons and report it to one of them as he ran through the parking lot.
The autopsy revealed that he was shot twice in the back. A single shot pierced his heart, the district attorney said. At least one bullet entered a vehicle that was in line at Wendy’s drive-thru.
After Brooks was shot, he was given no medical assistance for more than 2 minutes, despite Atlanta Police Department policy that says officers must provide assistance in a timely manner, Howard said.
The district attorney said Rolfe and pierce Brosnan have had up to 6 pm, Thursday to make. He said that he was going to ask $50,000 bond pierce Brosnan and no deposit for Rolfe.
The costs of considering a possible “radical change” in the tolerance of violence by the police, said Caren Morrison, Georgia State University law professor who used to be a federal prosecutor.
Morrison said that the view up to now has been in general, the officers are justified in using deadly force in a case such as this where the suspect had a Taser or another weapon that could cause serious bodily harm.”
In the Minneapolis case, Derek Chauvin, the officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck, for several minutes as he argued that he could not breathe, has been accused of the murder. Three other officers were accused of complicity. All four have been fired and could get up to 40 years in prison.
In Washington, meanwhile, Senate Republicans announced the most ambitious of GOP police-reform package in the years, including the increased use of the strength of the database, the restrictions on chokeholds and new commissions for the study of the application of the law and of the race.
The bill is not as radical Democratic proposal for a House vote next week, but it shows how quickly the national debate has been transformed since Floyd’s death.
A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that more Americans today than five years ago believe that police brutality is a very serious issue that too often goes unruly and unevenly targets black Americans.
Elsewhere in the country, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas removed a statue of his “Hey Reb!” mascot on the outside of his former students of the centre, and Houston officials have taken a figure of a soldier Confederate in a park in the city centre.
As for Quaker Oats’ decision to remove the Aunt Jemima, the character of the image on the packaging has been changed in recent years to make him look like a woman in modern home, but for most of its existence, it was a stout, the scarf-wearing black woman who mentioned the plantation of the era of the “Mammy” stereotype.
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