ATLANTA — The Atlanta Police Officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks outside a Wendy’s in Atlanta has been charged with felony murder.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced his decision on the charge Wednesday afternoon.
The officer, Garrett Rolfe, was fired by the Atlanta Police Department in the aftermath of the shooting.
The felony murder charge comes before the GBI’s investigation into the shooting has been completed.
“Although we have made significant progress in the case, we have not completed our work. Our goal in every officer involved shooting case we are requested to review, is to complete a thorough, impartial investigation before we submit the file to the respective District Attorney’s Office,” The agency said in a statement.
“The GBI was not aware of today’s press conference before it was conducted. We were not consulted on the charges filed by the District Attorney. Despite today’s occurrence, the GBI will complete its mission of completing an impartial and thorough investigation of this incident and we will submit the file, once completed, to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office,” the GBI statement said.
On Friday, June 12, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was asked by the Atlanta Police Department to investigate an officer involved shooting.
According to the GBI, preliminary information indicates that at about 10:33 p.m., Atlanta police were dispatched to the Wendy’s located at 125 University Ave, Atlanta. Officers were responding to a complaint of a man asleep in a parked vehicle in the drive thru.
The man asleep in the car was later identified as 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks.
Police performed a sobriety test on Brooks. According to the GBI, after failing the test, the officers attempted to place Brooks into custody.
During the arrest, police say Brooks resisted and a struggle ensued. The officer deployed a Taser. During the struggle Brooks grabbed and was in possession of the Taser.
According to video footage, Brooks was shot by Rolfe as he was running away from the scene after attempting to use the taser on the officers.
Brooks was transported to the hospital where he died after surgery.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned from her position and Rolfe was fired. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she did not feel Rolfe should have used deadly force.
“While there may be debate as to whether this was an appropriate use of deadly force. I firmly believe that there is a clear distinction between what you can do and what you should do,” Bottoms said. “I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force and have called for the immediate termination of the officer.”