Photo: Getty
  /  08.23.2022

Georgia’s Special Prosecutor Peter Skandalakis announced on Tuesday (Aug.23) that two Atlanta police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks in June 2020 will be cleared of murder and assault charges.

Skandalakis stated that both officers, Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan, acted reasonably in response to a deadly threat. “Both acted as reasonable officers would under the facts and circumstances of the events of that night. Both acted in accordance with well-established law and were justified in the use of force regarding the situation,” he stated.

Skandalakis said Brooks’ case was not like other incidents involving the deaths of Black men in recent years. “This was not an Ahmaud Arbery who was being chased by armed citizens. This was not a George Floyd who was on the ground with an officer kneeling on his neck,” Skandalakis said. “This is not that case. These facts are distinguishable and distinct from what happened in those two situations.”

Last year, Skandalakis took over after Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis removed herself and her office from the case. Willis expressed concerns about the actions of her predecessor, who charged Rolfe with murder a week after the shooting.

In June 2020, Rolfe and Brosnan responded to complaints of Brooks sleeping in a car in the drive-thru lane of a Wendy’s restaurant. Police body camera video shows the two officers calmly conversing with Brooks for nearly 40 minutes.

The officers had Brooks take a sobriety test, declared that he’d had too much to drink, and attempted to arrest him when a struggle broke out between the three men. Brooks, 27, fled from the officers and was shot multiple times, killing him. A subsequent autopsy revealed Brooks had been shot twice in the back by Rolfe, who had fired his gun.

After the shooting, Rolfe was fired, but the Atlanta Civil Service Board overturned his dismissal in May 2021. According to the board, the city failed to follow its disciplinary procedures.

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