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Charges dropped against Atlanta officers involved in Rayshard Brooks’ death

Brooks’ 2020 death led to the burning down of an Atlanta Wendy’s
Charges dropped against Atlanta officers involved in Rayshard Brooks' death
Garrett Rolfe, left, and Devin Bronsan, right. (Photo: Atlanta Police Department)

The Atlanta police officers involved in the death of Rayshard Brooks have had charges against them dropped.

Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, was taking a nap in his car at an Atlanta Wendy’s when officers came to arrest him for driving under the influence. Brooks asked officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan if he could walk home instead of getting arrested. Once the officers declined his offer, the exchange between both parties heated up, Brooks resisted arrest and grabbed Brosnan’s taser. As he ran away from both cops and fired the taser at the cops, he was shot by Rolfe. Brooks eventually died at the hospital.

On Aug. 23, special prosecutor Peter Skandalakis ruled the officers’ decision to shoot Brooks was “reasonable.”

“Both acted as reasonable officers would under the facts and circumstances of the events of that night,” Skandalakis said, according to CNN. “Both acted in accordance with well-established law and were justified in the use of force regarding the situation.”

Brosnan’s representation applauded the decision in an official statement.

“Officer Brosnan was assaulted and tased by Mr. Brooks, and as a result suffered a concussion and required medical treatment,” Brosnan’s statement read. “Despite his own injuries, he called for and personally rendered aid to Mr. Brooks after the shooting. At no point did he assault or abuse Mr. Brooks.”

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens shared that while he still mourns the loss of Brooks, he does respect the prosecutor’s decision.

“My heart continues to ache for the family of Rayshard Brooks,” Dickens’ statement read. “He was a father whose absence will forever be felt by our community.

“This matter was referred to the special prosecutor last year. I respect the independent role that the special prosecutor played in this case. Today, we received his decision.

“Over the last two years, our country has been engaged in important discussions about policing in America. We must maintain our commitment to the work of creating safe communities through collaboration between police and the people they serve.”

Both officers remain employed by the Atlanta Police Department.

Brooks’ death occurred at the height of Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020 following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. The Wendy’s Brooks died at was burned down in protests following his death, and the building has since been demolished. On Aug. 23, outside of the gated vacant lot where Brooks was shot, protestors returned to the site after the decision to drop charges was announced.

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