The Cop Who Shot Rayshard Brooks Has Been Charged With Murder

Garrett Rolfe—the former Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks last week, kicking him after as he lay on the ground—was charged with felony murder, the Fulton County district attorney announced Wednesday. The shooting already led to the firing of Rolfe and the resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields.

As Mother Jones reported last week:

The encounter began Friday night when officers found that Rayshard Brooks, 27, had fallen asleep in his car at a Wendy’s drive-through, causing other customers to drive around him, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. Police gave Brooks a sobriety test. After he failed, the two officers tried take him into custody, but he “resisted and a struggle ensued.” 

An eyewitness video posted on social media overnight shows cops trying to pin Brooks on the ground, one of them with his taser drawn. Brooks grabs the taser and runs away with it, off camera, after which gunshots can be heard. On Saturday evening, the GBI released a surveillance video in which Brooks can be seen running away. He turns as he runs and aims the taser at one of the officers, at which point the cop shoots him with his gun.

According to the DA, video evidence shows Rolfe saying “I got him,” after shooting Brooks. Rolfe faces 10 other charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and failure to render timely medical attention.

Devin Brosnan, the officer on duty with Rolfe that night, faces three charges, including aggravated assault. The video shows Brosnan standing on Brooks’ shoulders as he lay dying.

Brosnan is currently on administrative leave. Rolfe has already been fired from the police force, and now faces charges that, if convicted, could lead to the death penalty. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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