© 2020 WFIT
Public Radio for the Space Coast
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ex-Police Officer Who Shot Rayshard Brooks Charged With Felony Murder

NOEL KING, HOST:

A former Atlanta police officer is charged with felony murder, among other things, for shooting Rayshard Brooks in the back. The other cop who was there in the Wendy's parking lot is also facing charges. Stephannie Stokes with member station WABE has been following this story. Here's Stephannie.

STEPHANNIE STOKES, BYLINE: Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard emphasized how the encounter between Rayshard Brooks and the Atlanta police started.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PAUL HOWARD: Mr. Brooks, on the night of this incident, was calm. He was cordial and really displayed a cooperative nature.

STOKES: Howard says his office pieced together what happened from eight different videos - the officers' cars and body cameras, surveillance footage, cellphone videos.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

RAYSHARD BROOKS: I drunk earlier.

GARRETT ROLFE: OK. How much have you had to drink?

STOKES: The officers suspect Brooks has been drinking. They ask him questions for 40 minutes. Brooks contradicts himself, gets impatient but stays friendly.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

BROOKS: I know. I know. You just doing your job.

STOKES: But when Officer Garrett Rolfe moves to arrest Brooks, he fights to get free. He runs with one of the officers' Tasers. He turns one moment and appears to fire it at Rolfe, who's chasing him. Then Rolfe shoots Brooks in the back as he flees.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

HOWARD: And at the time that the shot was fired, the utterance made by Officer Rolfe was, I've got it.

STOKES: Howard says the officer doesn't seem afraid. He revealed a photo of Rolfe kicking Brooks on the ground. Rolfe was fired the next day. The district attorney is pursuing 11 charges against Rolfe - among them, felony murder, which is eligible for the death penalty. Protesters have called for a transformation of the Atlanta Police Department. After the charges, Brooks' wife, Tamika Miller, could say little. She's focused on her family, knowing that Father's Day is coming.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TAMIKA MILLER: All I can do is just think about what if my husband was still here?

STOKES: Both officers involved in his death issued statements criticizing the district attorney for moving too quickly. A state review of the shooting may not come for weeks. The second officer, Devin Brosnan, remains on administrative duty. He was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly standing on Brooks' shoulder after the shooting. The DA said Brosnan was planning to testify on behalf of the state against Rolfe, something Brosnan's attorney denied almost immediately.

For NPR News, I'm Stephannie Stokes in Atlanta. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.