Listen to this article here
Sign-Up for a free subscription to The Black Wall Street Times‘ daily newsletter, Black Editors’ Edition (BEE) – our curated news selections & opinions by us for you.
Two White Atlanta cops who clashed with 27-year-oldacted reasonably during the 2020 encounter that ended fatally, a specially appointed prosecutor said Tuesday in announcing his decision not to pursue charges against them.
Officer, , and officer Devin Brosnan faced a “quickly evolving” situation when Brooks lunged and grabbed one of their Tasers during an arrest attempt, said Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia.
“We did not look at this with 20/20 hindsight. Given the quickly changing circumstances, was it objectively reasonable that he used deadly force? And we conclude it was,” Skandalakis said of Rolfe.
Skandalakis said he believes that context is important and acknowledged that encounters between police and the African American community are sometimes “very volatile,” but he said he doesn’t believe race played a role in this instance.
“This isn’t one of those cases,” he said. “This is a case in which the officers were willing to give Mr. Brooks every benefit of the doubt and, you know, unfortunately, by his actions, this is what happened.”
“This is what happened”
It seems when the suspect is Black, this always seems to happen. There have been countless viral videos displaying violent and overaggressive policing towards African Americans from coast to coast and the very history of policing is directly linked to the capture of free Black people, in particular men.
White police officers, formerly known as a slave patrol have inextricably linked themselves to Black folks during and since the abolition of slavery in America and their reign of domestic terror on Black men, women, and children have claimed countless lives over the course of American history, including Rayshard Brooks.
It is quite a leap to suggest in any manner that either officer Rolfe or Brosnan were not motivated by race when police departments across the country have historically been well-documented to have white supremacy members among their ranks.
In light of the special prosecutor’s decision, lawyers for the Brooks family told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution they plan to file a civil lawsuit against the officers involved.
Another Black man shot in the back
According to CBS News, on June 12, 2020, police responded to complaints of a man sleeping in a car in the drive-thru lane of a Wendy’s restaurant. Police body camera video shows the two officers having a calm conversation with Brooks for roughly 40 minutes.
Then, when the officers told Brooks he’d had too much to drink to be driving and tried to arrest him, Brooks resisted in a struggle caught on dash camera video. Brooks grabbed a Taser from one of the officers and fled, firing it at Rolfe as he ran. Rolfe fired his gun, and an autopsy found that Brooks was shot twice in the back.
The two officers’ lawyers have said their actions were justified and both were.
Rayshard Brooks was killed in 2020. Two years later, his killer will likely be back on the street.
The Atlanta Police Department said in a statement that both officers are on administrative duty and will undergo recertification and training.
Five days after Brooks was killed, then-Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard held a news conference to announce warrants had been taken out against Rolfe and Brosnan. Rolfe’s charges included felony, aggravated assault and violation of his oath. Brosnan was charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath.
Skandalakis said Tuesday that he would file paperwork to dismiss those warrants.