The Cop Who Shot Rayshard Brooks Has Been Charged With Murder

Garrett Rolfe—the former Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks last week, kicking him after as he lay on the ground—was charged with felony murder, the Fulton County district attorney announced Wednesday. The shooting already led to the firing of Rolfe and the resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields.

As Mother Jones reported last week:

The encounter began Friday night when officers found that Rayshard Brooks, 27, had fallen asleep in his car at a Wendy’s drive-through, causing other customers to drive around him, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. Police gave Brooks a sobriety test. After he failed, the two officers tried take him into custody, but he “resisted and a struggle ensued.” 

An eyewitness video posted on social media overnight shows cops trying to pin Brooks on the ground, one of them with his taser drawn. Brooks grabs the taser and runs away with it, off camera, after which gunshots can be heard. On Saturday evening, the GBI released a surveillance video in which Brooks can be seen running away. He turns as he runs and aims the taser at one of the officers, at which point the cop shoots him with his gun.

According to the DA, video evidence shows Rolfe saying “I got him,” after shooting Brooks. Rolfe faces 10 other charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and failure to render timely medical attention.

Devin Brosnan, the officer on duty with Rolfe that night, faces three charges, including aggravated assault. The video shows Brosnan standing on Brooks’ shoulders as he lay dying.

Brosnan is currently on administrative leave. Rolfe has already been fired from the police force, and now faces charges that, if convicted, could lead to the death penalty. 

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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