“That officer … actually kicked Mr. Brooks while he laid on the ground, while he was there fighting for his life,” Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard stated.
The second officer, Devin Brosnan, faces an aggravated assault cost for allegedly standing on the prostrate Brooks’ shoulders in the parking zone, which he denies. Arrest warrants have been issued. Brosnan turned himself into the Fulton County Jail and was launched Thursday afternoon. Rolfe has till Thursday night to show himself in.
Brosnan was launched on a signature bond about an hour after presenting himself at the jail and won’t be required to put on a GPS anklet, protection lawyer Don Samuel stated. The ex-officer didn’t converse to reporters as he left the jail.
Brooks’ widow stated the particulars of her husband’s closing moments left her appalled, and he or she needed to depart the room greater than as soon as as Howard laid out the allegations, her lawyer stated.
“I don’t know what I would have done if I would have seen it for myself. But I felt everything he felt just by hearing what he went through. And it hurt. It hurt really bad,” Tomika Miller stated.
Brooks’ relations are making ready for his funeral. He leaves behind three daughters and a stepson.
Charges are only a first step, lawyer says
The officers had gone to the fast-food joint to answer a grievance that Brooks, 27, was parked and asleep in the drive-through. He failed a sobriety check, and when the officers tried to arrest him he scuffled with them and grabbed Brosnan’s Taser, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation stated.
In a video of the incident, he runs and seems to level the Taser at Rolfe, who shoots him. Two of the pictures hit Brooks in the again and a 3rd one hit a close-by car.
Rolfe’s attorneys stated he reacted after he thought he “heard a gunshot and saw a flash in front of him.”
“Fearing for his safety and the safety of the civilians around him, Officer Rolfe dropped his Taser and fired his service weapon at the only portion of Mr. Brooks that presented to him — Mr. Brooks’ back,” they stated in a press release.
The charges towards the officers are a superb first step, however they don’t assure a conviction, a household lawyer stated.
“He has good lawyers on his side to fight for him. This is not the finish line. This is the starting point. Yes, we appreciate and we commend the DA’s office for charging these officers appropriately, but that’s just Step One,” lawyer Justin Miller stated. “As you know, that doesn’t always result in convictions.”
Attorney denies officer is a state witness
Brosnan is cooperating and offering particulars on what he noticed, however he is not a state witness, as Howard stated, in keeping with his attorneys. Brosnan additionally faces two counts of violating his oath of workplace.
“To be clear there is no agreement that our client is going to testify at any hearing. He has been cooperative. He went in and made a statement to the assistant DA and their investigator, provided them with his cell phone,” protection lawyer Amanda Clark Palmer stated. “If there’s any other law enforcement agency like the GBI I would anticipate wants to talk to him, we’ll be cooperative.”
She continued, “He’s not a state witness. He is a witness. He will tell the truth about what he saw happen.”
Brosnan’s protection group denied he stepped on Brooks, saying he put his foot on Brooks’ arm to ensure he didn’t entry the Taser.
“There was no malice or ill intent in what he did,” Palmer stated.
Brosnan suffered bruises to his legs and arms in the scuffle, in addition to a concussion when he hit his head on the pavement, his protection group stated in a press release. He by no means drew his weapon, and he tried to stabilize Brooks after the taking pictures, eradicating the man’s shirt and administering first assist, it stated.
In addition to performing CPR, protection lawyer Samuel stated, Brosnan additionally put anticoagulant in Brooks’ wounds and utilized compression bandages.
“Despite a crowd that was yelling, Devin did what he could to save Mr. Brooks,” the protection group’s assertion stated.
After Brosnan turned himself in Thursday, Samuel questioned the rush to cost his shopper.
“Why did they have to bring a charge within three days against my guy?” he requested reporters. “He’s not charged with having anything to do with the homicide, but (Howard) wants to charge him for not rendering aid fast enough? I’ve never even seen a case like this.”
The former officer is disenchanted and his perception in the system is shaken, however he believes he’ll “come out all right,” whether or not it’s by way of the district lawyer, investigators or a jury, Samuel stated.
Rolfe’s lawyer additionally disputes allegations
Rolfe additionally didn’t kick Brooks, the ex-officer’s lawyer stated, asking why Howard didn’t launch the video.
“If there was a video of my client kicking Mr. Brooks, you would have seen it,” lawyer Lance LoRusso instructed Fox News. “(Howard) shows a still, and one leg is planted and the other one’s bent. He could be leaning down to try to give him first aid. It could have been when he was trying to evaluate whether he needed handcuffs.”
The officer administered CPR on Brooks, monitored his pulse, urged him to proceed respiratory and coordinated different efforts on the scene, his attorneys say.
Rolfe additionally faces 5 counts of aggravated assault, 4 counts of violating his oath of workplace and one depend of felony injury to property. He may the death penalty if convicted on the felony homicide cost.
As to the assertion Rolfe didn’t kick Brooks, Justin Miller, the household lawyer, stated he trusts Howard’s model of occasions.
“At some point we’re going to see the video, and we’ll know exactly what happened. I think that the DA’s office wouldn’t have charged something that they knew they couldn’t prove and that they’d be embarrassed by if it was a lie … No other reason to put that out there for them,” he stated Thursday.
A metropolis on edge
The division denied stories of officers strolling off the job, saying there was a excessive variety of call-outs on the incoming shift, however a union director contended police had been “fed up” and he obtained calls of some calling out or strolling off their shifts.
“We have enough resources to maintain operations & remain able to respond to incidents,” Atlanta police tweeted.
The metropolis has proven its dedication to officers via a pay increase, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms stated, and he or she expects them to maintain their dedication to their communities.
“There’s a lot happening in our cities, and our police officers are receiving the brunt of it, quite frankly,” she stated.
Despite the metropolis’s denial, Vince Champion, the southeast regional director of the International Brother of Police Officers, introduced a unique account: He received calls all through the night time saying officers had been calling out and strolling off their shift.
“Some were just refusing to leave the precincts unless an officer needed help, so it was different things,” Champion stated.
While he did not have onerous numbers, he has heard officers can even name out Thursday, he stated.
What Georgia regulation says about lethal power
Brooks posed a menace and assaulted the officers throughout his arrest, stated Steven Gaynor, the president of the Cobb County Fraternal Order of Police. Brooks’ taking pictures was justified, he stated.
“(Georgia law) specifically gives (the officer) the right based on the aggravated assaults and the threat (Brooks) poses to the public and to the officers,” Gaynor stated. “It specifically gives them by law the right to shoot him. (Brooks) chose to make those actions. He chose to do what he did.”
Some policing specialists contend the incident didn’t must escalate.
Brooks did not have a weapon — officers patted him down earlier in the encounter — and will have continued to chase him, whereas calling for backup, CNN regulation enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey stated.
“You’ve got the car. You’ve asked for his driver’s license. You know who he is. So even if you don’t get him right now, you can get him later,” Ramsey stated.
“The training we have had for over 20 years tells us if they take your baton or your Taser, it now becomes one step more that you have to use deadly force,” Gaynor stated, “because those can be used against you to incapacitate you and then take your weapon.”
Prosecutors will look at three points: whether or not the officer was in instant worry of death or critical damage; whether or not his use of power was proportionate to the menace; and whether or not the officer acted moderately beneath the circumstances, CNN authorized analyst Joey Jackson stated.
CNN’s Devon M. Sayers, Ryan Young, Dianne Gallagher, Pamela Kirkland, Eric Levenson and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report