Early this morning, Tomika Miller, the wife of Rayshard Brooks, who was shot and killed by Atlanta police officers during a confrontation at an Atlanta Wendy’s said she just wants the officers who killed him to face the same justice her husband would have faced for killing someone.
Later, at a press conference for the family, Miller asked for protesters to honor her husband’s name by peacefully protesting his death.
FIRST ON @CBSNews: Tomika Miller, wife of Rayshard Brooks, who was fatally shot by Atlanta police at a Wendy's, tells us the officers "need to be put away.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 15, 2020
Garrett Rolfe, one of the officers involved in the arrest and subsequent death of Rayshard Brooks has been fired. Rolfe had been with the Atlanta Police Department since 2013, WSB-TV of Atlanta reported.
The second officer, identified as Devin Bronsan, was placed on administrative duty, according to the report. Bronsan has been with the department since 2018, a police spokesman told the Associated Press.
27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was shot by the Atlanta police officers in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta, GA, after he resisted arrest, grabbed a police taser, ran off, and turned back and pointed the taser at the pursuing officer. Police officers were called to Wendy’s when it was discovered that Rayshard Brooks was passed out in his vehicle and blocking customers from going through the drive-thru.
Rayshard Brooks was not sleeping in a parking lot. He was passed out drunk in the drive thru lane of a fast food place, blocking traffic. That’s why the cops were called and that’s why any sane cope who cares about public safety would make an arrest in that situation.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 15, 2020
Rayshard Brooks’cousin, Tiara Brooks spoke at the press conference for the family today. Tiara asked how many more protests will it take to stop the killings, suggesting that her uncle’s death “may start a protest tomorrow.”
Tiara Brooks, cousin of #RayshardBrooks, asks at a press conference: “How many more protests will it take to ensure the next victim isn’t your cousin, your brother, your uncle, your nephew, your friend or your companion?” pic.twitter.com/ztQCoonhVf
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 15, 2020
Almost as soon as the press conference ended, authorities in Georgia announced that the fatal police shooting of Rayshard Brooks outside of a Wendy’s in Atlanta was a homicide.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard told CNN that three charges could apply against sacked police officer Garrett Rolfe: murder, felony murder and aggravated assault.
“But I believe in this instance, what we have to choose between, if there’s a choice to be made, is between murder and felony murder,” Mr Howard said.
NBC News reports – Brooks, 27, died after he was shot twice in the back on Friday, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office said in a statement. Brooks was shot after a confrontation with two Atlanta police officers in the parking lot.
Police had been summoned there on a report of a man sleeping in his car in the drive-through.
Brooks struggled with the officers after they administered a field sobriety test and tried to take him into custody. Surveillance video appears to show Brooks running away from the officers with a stun gun that he’d taken from one of them, said Vic Reynolds, director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
While running, Brooks appeared to turn around and point the weapon at police, Reynolds said
“At that point, the Atlanta officer reaches down and retrieves his weapon from his holster, discharges it, strikes Mr. Brooks there on the parking lot, and he goes down.”
L. Chris Stewart, an attorney for Brooks’ family, said Brooks shouldn’t have faced deadly force because he appeared to have a stun gun.
On Saturday night, former NYC Police Chief Bernard Kerik spoke with Judge Jeanine on Fox News about police reforms that are being suggested as a result of George Floyd and Rayshawn Brooks deaths at the hands of law enforcement.
Kerik told Judge Jeanine Piro, “radical left-wing progressive mayors and governors” should “tell the thugs in your community don’t attack our police,” adding, “They can start with reforms like tell the thugs in your community don’t attack our police,” Kerik said. “Don’t assault our police. Don’t resist arrest. Don’t obstruct or interfere with an arrest. Don’t run from the police. Don’t run cops over with your car. Don’t take their tasers. Don’t take their weapons. Don’t take their guns, because if you do, we’ll use force. And we are not going to lose if we use force.”
Despite swift action by authorities to rule the death of Brooks a homicide, protests in Atlanta are already taking place, calling for justice.
— Morgan Chesky (@BreakingChesky) June 15, 2020
Chris Steward, the attorney representing the family of Rayshard Brooks suggested that he resisted arrest because he saw what happened to George Floyd.
“It goes to a point of people asking well why would he resist when they were trying to put him in handcuffs,” said Stewart. “Well, they put George Floyd in handcuffs and he was subsequently killed so just getting put in handcuffs if you are African-American doesn’t mean oh you’re going to get nicely taken to the back of the police car.”
“So especially watching this video of George Floyd over and over again, his reaction may have been ‘I’m not getting put in handcuffs,’” he continued. “So we can’t just toss it out because he resisted. George Floyd didn’t, and it ended the same way.”
Should police officers allow people they’re arresting to steal their weapons and then point them back on them during an arrest? What would have happened if Rayshard Brooks hit the officer charged with homicide with the officer’s stun gun and then proceeded to take the officer’s gun and used it against him? Should the arresting officer be allowed to defend his own life?