The former Atlanta police officer who shot Rayshard Brooks in the back and killed him has now been charged with felony murder.
Not only that, but the officer’s partner has agreed to testify against him.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced 11 charges against Garrett Rolfe, including multiple acts of aggravated assault. Howard made particular notice that Rolfe kicked Brooks while he lay dying.
Howard made it clear … he does not believe Rolfe feared for his life in any way, shape or form. Howard noted Brooks had been cordial, cooperative and calm for more than 41 minutes. The D.A. said Rolfe was not motivated by fear but rather “another type of emotion.” Howard didn’t specifically say which emotion, but did say you can hear Rolfe right after he shot Brooks say, “I got him.”
It’s especially significant the other cop, Devin Brosnan, has turned state’s evidence, and he’ll make a statement soon on what happened, but the D.A. says psychologically he’s not up to it right now.
Howard has charged Brosnan with aggravated assault — he’s on video stepping on Brooks’ shoulder. He’s also been charged with failure to render timely aid. He could face more than 20 years in prison, but it’s almost certain he’ll get way less for cooperating.
Video of the incident shows Brooks was shot by Rolfe during a chase in a Wendy’s parking lot after Brooks had obtained one of the officer’s Tasers and was attempting to flee arrest following a failed breathalyzer test.
This is a sea change to the extent prosecutors have now sent a message to cops they don’t have to blindly stand by colleagues who cross the line.
Howard said his office talked to multiple witnesses and reviewed a number of videos and other physical evidence before reaching the decision to charge them.
The D.A. is recommending a $50,000 bond for Brosnan and no bond at all for Rolfe. Both men have until Thursday night to surrender.
It should also be noted that the taser Rayshard grabbed had already been fired twice and could NOT be discharged again — and the officer knew that prior to shooting him in the back.