Human Rights

Ex-Atlanta Officer Who Shot Rayshard Brooks Charged With Felony Murder

The former officer, Garrett Rolfe, was charged with 11 criminal counts in connection to the killing of Rayshard Brooks.

Ex-Atlanta Officer Who Shot Rayshard Brooks Charged With Felony Murder
Atlanta Police Department / AP

The former Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks last week has been charged with felony murder.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said the ex-officer, Garrett Rolfe, has been charged with 11 criminal counts, including felony murder and aggravated assault. The other officer who was on the scene, Devin Brosnan, faces three charges.

"We've concluded at the time Mr. Brooks was shot that he did not pose an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or officers," Howard said.

Camera footage shows officers approaching Brooks, who was asleep in his car, at a Wendy's drive-through last Friday evening. After Brooks failed a sobriety test, officers attempted to arrest him and a scuffle ensued.

Brooks took one of the officer's stun guns and tried to run away, which is when Rolfe shot at Brooks three times. Two of the shots hit Brooks in the back and killed him. The Fulton County Medical Examiner later ruled the death a homicide.

The district attorney scrutinized Rolfe's actions, saying an officer cannot use deadly force against a fleeing suspect unless the officer has probable cause that the suspect "poses an immediate threat of death." He also said Rolfe was aware that the stun gun Brooks took had already been fired twice, which meant it was no longer a threat. And he said the officers failed to administer any first aid to Brooks for more than two minutes after he was shot, which is against Atlanta PD policy. During that time, instead, Howard said, "Rolfe actually kicked ... Brooks as he laid on the ground."

The district attorney said arrest warrants for Rolfe and Brosnan have been issued and the men have until Thursday evening to turn themselves in. If convicted on the felony murder charge, Rolfe could face life in prison without parole or even the death penalty.

Contains footage from CNN.