New video has been released that shows more of the events that led to the death of Rayshard Brooks Friday night.
Brooks was killed by Atlanta police officers who were summoned to a Wendy’s after a report that a man was asleep in his car in the drive-thru line. The interaction between Brooks and the police included officers administering a field sobriety test, which he reportedly failed, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“After failing the test, the officers attempted to place the male subject into custody,” Miles said, according to the newspaper. “During the arrest, the male subject resisted and a struggle ensued. The officer deployed a Taser.”
Brooks managed to wrestle the Taser away from the officer before being shot.
The shooting has sparked sometimes-violent demonstrations. The Wendy’s restaurant where the incident occurred was burned down Saturday night as demonstrators protested what they considered an unjustified shooting.
To some, however, like former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, himself a former federal prosecutor, the circumstances are still up for debate.
Whatever the Atlanta shooting is, it is not the George Floyd case.
This video appears to present circumstances which may justify this use of force.
The only responsible position is to suspend judgment until a full investigation is done.
— Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) June 14, 2020
Two very different looks at the incident were recorded by the Wendy’s security camera and a cell phone camera of another customer at the scene.
Warning: The video contains disturbing images.
— piccolo (@pr322y) June 13, 2020
GBI Director Vic Reynolds said the surveillance footage from the restaurant appears to show Brooks turned toward the police even as he fled and pointed the Taser at one of the officers.
That means that the narrative of police shooting an “unarmed” black is open to more questions — if not shattered.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick for the Democratic ticket, said Saturday there was no gray area in this case.
“While there may be debate as to whether this was an appropriate use of deadly force, I firmly believe that there is a clear distinction between what you can do and what you should do. I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force and have called for the immediate termination of the officer,” she said.
Officer Garrett Rolfe, who fired the shots that killed Brooks, according to the Journal-Constitution, was later fired. The other officer at the scene, Devin Bronsan, has been placed on administrative duty.
Chris Stewart, an attorney for Brooks’s family, said the officer who killed Brooks must be charged, according to CBS.
“Black, white, Hispanic, whatever you are,” Stewart said. “Are you not tired of seeing cases like this happen?”
Stewart said the officer chasing Brooks was not in danger, according to the Journal-Constitution.
“He had other options than shooting a man in the back,” Stewart said.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said the decision on filing charges against the officers will be made by Wednesday, according to CNN.
“[Brooks] did not seem to present any kind of threat to anyone, and so the fact that it would escalate to his death just seems unreasonable,” Howard said.
“If that shot was fired for some reason other than to save that officer’s life or prevent injury to him or others, then that shooting is not justified under the law,” he said.
“This is a situation that is not clear cut, you know, like the callous murder that occurred in Minnesota,” Carson said, bringing up the death of George Floyd.
Floyd’s May 25 death while in Minneapolis police custody has rippled throughout American society and the political sphere.
“Certainly in retrospect, there probably are other ways to do things but, again, we don’t know. We, the public, don’t know,” Carson said.
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