As announced this past Tuesday, the pair of Atlanta area police officers who fired on and killed 27-year-old Raychard Brooks outside of an area Wendy’s restaurant back in June of 2020 will not be seeing any charges for their use of deadly force.
The executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, Pete Skandalakis, stated that Officer Garret Rolfe, who fired on Brooks twice in the back, and Officer Devin Bronson, out of the Atlanta Police Department, were forced to deal with a “dynamic situation” that was “quickly evolving.” These factors in particular prompted the special prosecutor to make the choice to drop all charges slated against the officers.
back on the 12th of June, 2020, Bronson and Rolfe were answering a call concerning a man who had fallen asleep at the wheel of their vehicle while sitting in the drive-thru lane of one South Atlanta Wendy’s restaurant. The pair of officers went up to Brooks and had a conversation with him for almost 40 minutes before making the decision that the 27-year-old was far too drunk.
Both body-cam and patrol car footage from the officers highlighted Brooks openly admitting that he had consumed quite a bit of alcohol before being spoken to by law enforcement. He would later consent to the use of a portable field alcohol test that came back with results showing the man well above the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content. As soon as the officers attempted to take Brooks in, he started to fight back and wrestle with the officers in an attempt to break free, both parties fell to the ground during the scuffle which resulted in Bronson ending up with a concussion.
While the officers wrestled with Brooks in an attempt to apprehend him, Brooks managed to steal Bronson’s taser and tried to fire it at Rolfe whole running away.
It was at that point that Rolfe fire off three shots at Brooks that ended up resulting in his death.
“Based on the facts and circumstances confronting Officer Rolfe and Officer Brosnan in this case, it is my conclusion the use of deadly force was objectively reasonable and that they did not act with criminal intent,” explained Skandalakis, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Additionally, the Associated Press reported that Skandalakis called it “a peaceful encounter that all of a sudden becomes a violent encounter.”
Police officials quickly fire Rolfe the next day and would go on to announce warrants levied against the officer, which included felony murder, aggravated assault, and violation charges. Despite this, after a period of a year had gone by, authorities were able to toss out that decision as of May 2021 in the wake of a board review determining that the city had failed to follow any sort of proper procedure in the way it had disciplined the officer, who had been a six-year veteran of the force.
A warrant targeting Bronson included charges of violating his oath and aggravated assault.
The Atlanta P.D. stated that it respects the decision of the special prosecutor in the case and had much faith in the criminal justice system.
“Both Officer Garrett Rolfe and Officer Devin Brosnan are still employed with APD,” stated the department, as reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “They are currently on administrative duty. Both officers will undergo Georgia P.O.S.T. recertification and training.”