An African American man, Rayshard Brooks (27-year-old), was shot and killed by an Atlanta Police Department officer on the evening of June 12, 2020. In the police body cam video released to the public, Brooks had been sleeping at a drive through, before he was accosted by two police officers of the Atlantic police officers.
The video shows the officers discussing with Brooks in a casual manner many minutes before he is shot and killed. The interview however takes a deadly turn when one of the officers attempts to cuff Brooks. Brooks is seen breaking into a run before he is wrestled to the ground. He is seen grabbing the taser of one of the police men and making a run for it one more time. Just as he tries to shoot the taser at the police officer, he is shot twice in the back.
CNN Atlanta reports that according to a release by the Fulton County, Georgia, Medical Examiner’s Office, Brooks died from organ damage and blood loss from the two gunshot wounds, making it a case of homicide.
Brooks’ death comes even as the US protests Police brutality for the 20th consecutive day. The incident has further escalated the situation as fresh protests ignited over the weekend.
Following the shooting, the Atlanta Police Chief, Erika Shields has announced his official resignation. The officer who shot Brooks, identified by the Atlanta Police Department as Garrett Rolfe has been fired, and a second officer involved in the encounter, Devin Brosnan, has been placed on administrative duty.
Reacting to the shooting in a news conference on Saturday, the African American Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, condemned the shooting, saying that, “There is a clear distinction between what you can do and what you should do. She added that there shouldn’t have been the use of force in the Brooks situation (see CNN).
Recall that the Trump administration is now having to deal with calls for Police defunding and even disbanding.
Brooks widow, speaking to the press for the first time, wants the guilty officer charged and sent to jail. The questions that are left to be answered are, “Was it absolutely necessary to shoot Brooks? Did he pose significant threat to allow the use of deadly force? Was shooting Brooks the most reasonable course of action in the circumstances?
May his gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.