Two years ago, police officers in Atlanta killed a man who was asleep inside his car at a Wendy’s parking lot.
Back in June of 2020 during the “Summer of Love”, everyone was on high alert because we really didn’t know what to expect out of anyone.
As Rayshard Brooks attempted to resist arrest and became violent, he even managed to take a taser gun from an officer. The police officer then fired a shot at Brooks as he ran away from the officer and pointed the taser at him.
The officer who fired the deadly shot was charged with felony murder. To many who saw the video, it was a bit of a shock.
Nonetheless, District Attorney Paul Howard charged him with murder, alleging that Brooks posed no threat even though he was fighting him, punched him, took his taser and discharged it at him.
The remarks from Howard come after he charged a police officer earlier this month “for pointing a taser” at someone because a taser is considered to be a “deadly weapon” under Georgia law.
In explaining the charges against former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe, Howard said, “We’ve concluded at the time Mr. Brooks was shot that he did not pose an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or officers.”
Howard continued by noting that Brooks fired a taser, which he took from the officer on scene, at Rolfe and that Rolfe opened fire on Brooks after that.
“But I don’t know if you can see it clearly,” Howard told the media in announcing the charges on Wednesday while showing a blown-up photograph of the incident. “The prongs from the taser were actually fired above Officer Rolfe here.”
Well, this week charges were dropped against the officer who shot Brooks as well as another officer present.
According to CNN,
A Georgia special prosecutor determined that the two Atlanta police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks in June 2020 acted reasonably and did not commit crimes.
“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,” special prosecutor Peter Skandalakis said.
While I do think that police are often too quick to jump to their gun, I can see how this one would be justified.
The moment that Brooks resisted arrest and took the taser from the officer, he then became a threat. It is reasonable to assume that Brooks would have deployed that taser into the officer and continued to cause more harm to him.
On the other hand, if it’s just a taser, I’m not sure that I would consider that alone as a deadly threat if there were multiple officers present.
I would be more inclined to say that once the officer was tased, if that occurred, then it would have been more justified to shoot Brooks before any further damage was done to the officer.