Ex-officer charged with felony murder for Atlanta man’s death
A former police officer who fatally shot an African-American man last week in the US city of Atlanta, has been charged with felony murder.
On Wednesday, Georgia state’s Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced 11 charges, including felony murder, against former officer Garrett Rolfe, reports Xinhua news agency.
Rolfe, if found guilty of felony murder, could face life in prison without parole or the death penalty, Howard told the media after the announcement.
Rolfe was fired after footage showed him shooting at Rayshard Brooks multiple times from the back as the 27-year-old African American man fled during an encounter outside a fast-food restaurant in Atlanta on June 12.
Arrest warrants have been issued for Rolfe and Devin Brosnan, the other officer at the scene.
Brosnan has been placed on administrative duty and charged with three criminal counts including aggravated assault.
He will be a witness for the state, according to Howard.
“He has decided to testify on behalf of the state in this case,” Howard told reporters.
“What he has said to us that is within a matter of days he plans to make a statement regarding the culpability of officer Rolfe.”
Howard also said that Rolfe kicked Brooks “while he laid on ground, while he was there fighting for his life” after he was shot.
Brosnan stood on Brooks’ shoulders “while he struggled for his life”, the District Attorney revealed.
“Once Mr. Brooks was shot, there is an Atlanta policy that requires that the officers have to provide timely medical attention to Mr. Brooks or to anyone who is injured.
“But after Mr. Brooks was shot, for some period of two minutes and 12 seconds, there was no medical attention applied to Mr. Brooks,” he added.
On the night of June 12, the two officers were dispatched to respond to complaints that Brooks was asleep in the drive-thru of the restaurant.
Police said they tried to take Brooks into custody after he failed a sobriety test, which led to a struggle between Brooks and the officers.
Police claimed that Brooks, while allegedly resisting, grabbed an officer’s Taser and ran off with it.
Footage capturing the scene from the restaurant’s parking lot showed that Brooks turned around and appeared to point the stun gun at Rolfe before being shot.
An ambulance transferred Brooks to a local hospital, where he died after undergoing surgery.
Brooks was shot twice in the back and died from organ damage and blood loss from the wounds, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office said earlier this week.
“The city of Atlanta SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), in fact, prohibit officers from firing tasers at someone who is running away. So the city of Atlanta says you could not even fire a taser at someone who is running away. So you certainly can’t fire a gun, a handgun at someone who is running away,” Howard said on Wednesday.