ATLANTA – A former Atlanta police officer charged with aggravated assault following the death of Rayshard Brooks turned himself into authorities on Thursday and bonded out.
Devin Brosnan did not speak to reporters as he later left jail. The district attorney said he and Garrett Rolfe, the officer charged with felony murder in Brooks’ death, had until 6 p.m. to surrender. He said he would request $50,000 bond for Brosnan and no bail for Rolfe.
Prosecutors brought felony murder and other charges against Rolfe who shot Brooks, saying that Brooks was not a deadly threat and that the officer kicked the wounded black man and offered no medical treatment for over two minutes as he lay dying on the ground.
The decision to prosecute the officers came less than five days after the killing rocked a city — and a nation — already roiled by the death of George Floyd under a police officer’s knee in Minneapolis late last month. Floyd’s death set off nationwide protests that have urged an extensive rethink of policing and an examination of racism in the United States.
Police were called to a Wendy's last week over complaints of a car blocking the drive-thru lane. An officer found Brooks asleep behind the wheel, and a breath test showed he was intoxicated. Police body-camera video showed Brooks and officers having a long, relatively calm conversation before things rapidly turned violent when officers tried to handcuff him.
Rolfe shot Brooks after the 27-year-old black man grabbed a Taser and ran, firing it at the officer, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said. But when the officer fired his gun, Brooks was too far ahead of him for the Taser to be a danger, and it had already been fired twice, so it was empty and no longer a threat, Howard said.
“I got him!” Howard quoted Rolfe as saying.
Prosecutors also announced charges of aggravated assault and violation of his oath against Brosnan, who the district attorney said stood on Brooks’ shoulder as he struggled for his life.
The district attorney said Brosnan, 26, is cooperating with prosecutors and will testify. But one of his attorneys, Amanda Clark Palmer, denied that and said Brosnan was not pleading guilty to anything.
Clark Palmer said the charges were baseless and that Brosnan stood on Brooks’ hand, not his shoulder, for just seconds to make sure he did not have a weapon.