Rayshard Brooks, 27, was killed by police in Atlanta after a fight in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani argued the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks is different to the circumstances surrounding the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, insisting body cam footage of the incident may ‘justify’ the use of deadly force.
Brooks was shot dead by Officer Garrett Rolfe in an Atlanta Wendy’s parking lot late Friday night. Investigators say Brooks, 27, fought with Rolfe and another officer, Devin Brosnan, before taking one of their Tasers, fleeing, and pointing the stun gun at Rolfe as he ran away.
Rolfe was dismissed from the force Saturday after firing the fatal shots that killed Brooks. Brosnan, who didn’t fire, has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
Brooks’ death occurred amid nationwide protests against police brutality, sparked by the Memorial Day death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The two fatal incidents have drawn comparisons and outrage in equal measure, but Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, said he believes there are significant differences between the two men’s deaths.
‘Whatever the Atlanta shooting is, it is not the George Floyd case,’ Giuliani tweeted early Sunday morning. ‘This video appears to present circumstances which may justify this use of force.
‘The only responsible position is to suspend judgment until a full investigation is done,’ he added.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani argued the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks is different to the circumstances surrounding the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, insisting body cam footage of the incident may ‘justify this use of force’
Newly released bodycam footage shows a polite interaction with Brooks for 30 minutes before the shooting. Though he appears intoxicated, Brooks cooperates with police until they try to arrest him
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson offered a similar point of view Sunday, telling Fox saying the circumstances in Brooks’ death are ‘not clear-cut’, unlike Floyd’s death.
‘I think this is a situation that is not clear-cut, like the callous murder that occurred in Minnesota, and it really requires some heads of people who actually know what should be done under these circumstances to make judgments,’ Carson told the network.
‘We don’t know what was in the mind of the officer when somebody turns around and points a weapon at him. Is he absolutely sure that’s a nonlethal weapon? You know, this is not a clear-cut circumstance.
‘Could it have been handled better?’ Carson asked. ‘Certainly in retrospect, there probably are other ways to do things, but again, we don’t know. We, the public, don’t know.’
Republican Sen. Tim Scott also said Sunday the situation was not as clear as the killing of Floyd in Minnesota.
‘That situation is certainly a far less clear one than the ones that we saw with George Floyd and several other ones around the country,” the South Carolina Republican said on CBS’ Face the Nation.
Scott, who is currently leading the drafting of the Senate GOP’s police reform bill, pointed toward the lingering questions on whether the excessive use of force was necessary.
‘The question is when the suspect turned to fire the Taser, what should the officer have done?’ Scott said, adding that it’s ‘critically important’ to include de-escalation and the need for more training in legislation.
‘That’s why the de-escalation aspect of my bill and the House bill is so critically important so that we don’t revert back to basic fear plus adrenaline leads us to the genetic code, so to speak,’ he said.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson offered a similar point of view Sunday, telling Fox saying the circumstances in Brooks’ death are ‘not clear-cut’, unlike Floyd’s death
Officer Garrett Rolfe (left) was fired from the force after firing the shots that killed Brooks on Friday night, while Officer Devin Bronsan (right), who was also present but did not fire, has been placed on administrative leave
Attorney L. Chris Stewart, who represents the family of Rayshard Brooks, unequivocally believes, however, that the two officers should’ve been able to control Brooks without shooting him dead.
‘A Taser is not a deadly weapon, it’s not like he was running off with a gun,’ Stewart said. ‘[The officer’s] life was not in immediate harm when he fired that shot, it just was not.’
U.S. Rep. James Enos Clyburn, D-S.C., the House Majority Whip, said he was incensed by the shooting, especially coming after weeks of protests demanding racial justice and an end to police brutality.
‘This did not call for lethal force, and I don’t know what’s in the culture that would make this guy do that,’ Clyburn said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. ‘It’s got to be the culture, it’s got to be the system.’
The shooting of Brooks led to the resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, and the Wendy’s where Brooks was shot was engulfed in an arson attack as protests turned tense on Saturday night.
Just two weeks earlier, Shields had drawn nationwide praise for how she engaged with demonstrators in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Meanwhile, bodycam footage has been released showing Rolfe and Bronsan’s full interaction prior to the shooting of Brooks, whom Bronsan found on the scene asleep in the driver’s seat of a car blocking the Wendy’s drive-thru lane.
The interaction starts off cordially, but Brooks seems visibly intoxicated, and is unable to correctly identify the city he is in, saying he is in Forest Park, an Atlanta suburb about 10 miles away from the Wendy’s.
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned on Saturday following the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks
Police gave Brooks a field sobriety test and breathalyzer after finding him asleep behind the wheel of a car that is stopped in the Wendy’s drive-thru lane, blocking other vehicles. The breathalyzer read .108
About 30 minutes into the interaction, Rolfe tells Brooks that he believes he is too drunk to operate a motor vehicle and that he is being placed under arrest. As the officers begin to handcuff him, Brooks struggles, knocking the body camera off
As the bodycam footage shows, Brooks cooperates with the officers initially, agreeing to be searched for weapons and to complete a field sobriety test. Brooks then insisted that all he’d had to drink was ‘one and a half daiquiris.’
The officers then administer a breathalyzer test, as Brooks continues to insist that he is fine to drive home. The breathalyser reading comes back as .108.
About 30 minutes into the interaction, Rolfe tells Brooks that he believes he is too drunk to operate a motor vehicle and that he is being placed under arrest. As the officers begin to handcuff him, Brooks begins to struggle, knocking the body camera to the ground.
Little else is seen of the interaction, but the officers are heard shouting ‘stop fighting, stop fighting,’ a taser is heard being deployed, and three shots are heard seconds later.
Video from other angles has already shown that Brooks swung punches at the officers, stole a taser, and fled, turning to point what appears to be the stolen taser at Rolfe before Rolfe unholsters his gun and shoots Brooks.
After nightfall on Saturday, flames broke out at the Wendy’s fast food restaurant where the shooting took place.
Around 10pm, a fully involved fire was seen inside the Wendy’s, and thick smoke billowed through the air, as multiple smaller fires burned in the parking lot outside of the building.
A protester watches as the Wendy’s burns following a rally protesting the police shooting death of Rayshard Brooks
The Wendy’s where Brooks was shot was burned down during protests over his death in a police shooting
A Wendy’s burns following a rally against racial inequality and the police shooting death of Rayshard Brooks
Instagram user @onthewaytothepromise posted a video showing broken windows in the Wendy’s as the fire began to spread inside. The building had been surrounded by protesters since Saturday morning.
The building was engulfed in flames which shot through the air from the roof, and no emergency responders were on the scene after nearly an hour.
Atlanta fire officials said that they were unable to send trucks through the crowds of protesters blocking the roads around the Wendy’s, in fear of endangering both the firefighters and the protesters.
As the fire grew, fears mounted that it could ignite a neighboring gas station, but by midnight the fire had burned out without spreading further.
Demonstrators also shut down all lanes of Interstate 75 near the Wendy’s for more than an hour. Police in riot gear were seen advancing on the protesters and making arrests at around 10pm. Traffic was restored on the northbound lanes of the interstate by around 10.30pm.
Protesters demonstrate outside a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta on Saturday where Rayshard Brooks, a black man, was shot and killed by Atlanta police Friday evening following a struggle in the drive-thru line
Flames were seen inside and outside the Wendy’s at around 10pm on Saturday night after arsonists set it ablaze
A person holds a sign as a Wendy’s restaurant burns Saturday in Atlanta after demonstrators allegedly set it on fire
Fire crews were unable to reach the fire as it burned out of control, after protesters blocked the streets around it
Some demonstrators link arms after getting onto I75 and shutting down the interstate in Atlanta on Saturday
Demonstrators also shut down all lanes of Interstate 75 near the Wendy’s for more than an hour
State troopers were seen advancing on the protesters and making arrests at around 10pm, and traffic was restored
Some protestors are arrested after getting onto I75 and shutting down the interstate in Atlanta on Saturday
RIP Rayshard: Clean up begins outside the Wendy’s restaurant which was destroyed after being set fire at the scene of a 12 June Atlanta Police Department officer-involved shooting
The eatery was set ablaze and has since been covered in graffiti . People are seen taking photos outside of it on Sunday
While much of the external walls remain intact, the inside of the restaurant is seen completely destroyed
Meanwhile, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has released new surveillance footage of the moment of the fatal shooting, which has drawn massive protests and allegations of racism and police brutality.
Atlanta police were called to the restaurant on a complaint that a man was sleeping in a car blocking the drive-thru lane as customers waited in line. Police say he failed a field sobriety test and then began to fight as the officers tried to arrest him.
Previously released bystander video showed Brooks grappling with two officers on the pavement, throwing punches, and grabbing one of the officer’s tasers. The other officer fires his taser at Brooks, which appears to have no effect, and Brooks sprints away.
The newly released surveillance video shows Brooks fleeing across the parking lot from officers, and turning and pointing something at the police, which the GBI said was the stolen police taser.
An officer then drops the taser that he had fired at Brooks, retrieves his service gun from its holster, and fires at Brooks.
New surveillance video released by GBI shows Brooks (circled, right) fleeing towards the right hand side of the image as he is pursued by two officers. Both Brooks and the officer immediately behind him are seen holding police tasers with illumination
Brooks (far right) appears to turn and point the stolen taser, as one officer takes cover by the red car and the second officer pursues from the far left of the image
Brooks drops the the ground, out of sight behind the silver sedan, as police open fire on him
Previously released bystander video shows Brooks in a scuffle as officers tried to take him into custody in a parking lot of a Wendy’s on University Avenue at around 10:30pm on Friday.
Brooks is seen in the video getting away from the grasp of two police officers and running away from them in the parking lot. He managed to take a Taser from one of the officers before trying to run away.
One of the officers is seen getting up and giving chase with what appears to be a Taser.
Moments later, gunshots are heard, though Brooks or the officers are not seen at that point in the bystander video.
According to his Facebook page, Brooks was married, attended Forest Park Street High School and, at one point, had an internship with the Atlanta Falcons
Police attempt to control protesters outside a Wendy’s restaurant Saturday in Atlanta. Georgia authorities said Saturday a man was shot and killed in a late night struggle with Atlanta police outside a fast food restaurant
Police attempt to control protesters outside a Wendy’s restaurant Saturday in Atlanta
Protesters gather Saturday at the Atlanta Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks, a black man, was shot and killed by Atlanta police Friday evening following a struggle in the restaurant’s drive-thru line
Protesters confront police near Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta Saturday in response to the death of Rayshard Brooks
The shooting came at a time of heightened tension over police brutality and calls for reforms across the U.S. following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Atlanta was among U.S. cities where large crowds of protesters took to the streets.
A crowd of demonstrators gathered Saturday outside the Atlanta restaurant where Brooks was shot.
Gerald Griggs, an attorney and a vice president of Atlanta’s NAACP chapter, estimated there were 150 people protesting at the scene as he walked with them Saturday afternoon.
‘The people are upset,’ Griggs said. ‘They want to know why their dear brother Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed when he was merely asleep on the passenger side and not doing anything.’
THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT AND EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
Cell phone video shows Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, wrestling with two white Atlanta police officers near a Wendy’s fast food restaurant in Atlanta late on Friday night
Brooks was resisting arrest as officers tried to take him into custody for allegedly failing a field sobriety test
Brooks is seen getting away from the grasp of one of the police officers during the attempted arrest on Friday
Brooks was seen running off with a Taser he took from one of the officers during the scuffle on Friday night
The officer on the far right is seen aiming his Taser and shooting at Brooks, but it appears to have no effect as Brooks gets away
Moments later, gunshots are heard. Brooks’ body appears to be on the pavement on the far right side of the image above
Shields, the ousted police chief, said in a statement: ‘For more than two decades, I have served alongside some of the finest men and women in the Atlanta Police Department. Out of a deep and abiding love for this City and this department, I offered to step aside as police chief.’
‘APD has my full support, and Mayor Bottoms has my support on the future direction of this department. I have faith in the Mayor, and it is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve,’ Shields continued.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Chief Shield’s resignation, saying the city’s top cop offered to ‘immediately step aside as police chief so that the city may move forward, with urgency, in rebuilding the trust so desperately needed throughout our communities.’
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds said his agents worked through the night interviewing witnesses and reviewing video.
He said their findings show that Brooks tried to fight off two officers when they tried to arrest him and at one point managed to take a Taser away from one of them.
A security camera recorded Brooks ‘running or fleeing from Atlanta police officers,’ Reynolds said. ‘It appears that he has in his hand a Taser.’
Protesters rally against racial inequality and the police shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, in Atlanta on Saturday
Hundreds of protesters gathered in Atlanta on Saturday to protest the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks
Protesters march near the Georgia Capitol on Saturday after an overnight Atlanta Police Department officer-involved shooting which left a black man dead at a Wendy’s restaurant
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is probing the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, 27, after a reported struggle with officers ensued during which a Taser was used late Friday
During a short foot chase Brooks ‘turns around and it appears at that time he points a Taser at an Atlanta officer,’ Reynolds said. That’s when the officer drew his gun and shot Brooks, he said, estimating the officer fired three times.
‘In a circumstance like this where an officer is involved in the use of deadly force, the public has a right to know what happened,’ Reynolds said of the decision to quickly release the restaurant surveillance footage.
Atlanta Deputy Police Chief Timothy Peek told reporters late Friday that both officers deployed their Tasers in an attempt to subdue the suspect but were unable to ‘stop the aggression of the fight.’
Reynolds said his agents will turn over results of their investigation to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, whose office will decide whether criminal charges are warranted against either of the officers.
Howard said Saturday his office had already gotten involved.
‘My office has already launched an intense, independent investigation of the incident,’ Howard said in a statement, saying members of his staff ‘were on scene shortly after the shooting, and we have been in investigative sessions ever since to identify all of the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident.’
Protesters block University Avenue outside the Wendy’s fast food restaurant in Atlanta on Saturday. Hours earlier, a 27-year-old black man was fatally shot by police officers as he was running away
Several protesters blocked traffic and sat in the middle of the road during the demonstration against police brutality on Saturday
One protester holds a megaphone while chanting slogans near the Wendy’s fast food restaurant on University Avenue in Atlanta on Saturday
Demonstrators including members of Brooks’ family gathered Saturday outside the restaurant where he was shot.
Police shut down streets for several blocks around the restaurant as protesters marched peacefully in the streets. There was a short, tense standoff with Georgia state troopers who lined up to block protesters as they tried to march onto a nearby interstate highway. The demonstrators eventually turned away.
Among those protesting was Crystal Brooks, who said she is Rayshard Brooks’ sister-in-law.
‘He wasn´t causing anyone any harm,’ she said. ‘The police went up to the car and even though the car was parked they pulled him out of the car and started tussling with him.’
She added: ‘He did grab the Taser, but he just grabbed the Taser and ran.’
Shields, Atlanta’s police chief for less than four years, was initially praised in the days following Floyd´s death last month. She said the Minnesota officers involved should go to prison and walked into crowds of protesters in downtown Atlanta, telling demonstrators she understood their frustrations and fears.
She appeared at Bottoms´ side as the mayor made an impassioned plea for protesters to go home when things turned violent with smashed storefronts and police cruisers set ablaze.
Days later, Shields fired two officers and benched three others caught on video May 30 in a hostile confrontation with two college students whose car was stuck in traffic caused by the protests.
The officers shouted at the pair, fired Tasers at them and dragged them from the vehicle. When prosecutors charged six officers with crimes in the incident, however, Shields openly questioned the timing and appropriateness of the charges.
Rayshard Brooks’ killing sparked renewed anger as demonstrators gathered near the Wendy’s fast food restaurant on University Avenue in Atlanta on Saturday
Protesters gesture at passersby near the Wendy’s fast food restaurant on University Avenue in Atlanta on Saturday
A woman holds a sign which reads ‘We will not be silent’ near the Wendy’s fast food restaurant on University Avenue in Atlanta on Saturday
Protesters make their voices heard during a demonstration near the Wendy’s fast food restaurant on University Avenue in Atlanta on Saturday
Protesters with cell phones gathered near the Wendy’s fast food restaurant on University Avenue in Atlanta on Saturday
A law enforcement official speaks to demonstrators near the Wendy’s fast food restaurant on University Avenue in Atlanta on Saturday
Tensions were running high as protesters expressed their anger near the Wendy’s fast food restaurant on University Avenue in Atlanta on Saturday
Demonstrators hold signs and make gestures toward a George state trooper near the Wendy’s fast food restaurant on University Avenue in Atlanta on Saturday
The shooting of Rayshard Brooks is the 48th police-involved shooting being investigated by state authorities in Georgia this year
Protesters chant slogans, hold signs, and walk near the Wendy’s fast food restaurant on University Avenue in Atlanta on Saturday
Protesters come face to face with law enforcement officials near the Wendy’s fast food restaurant on University Avenue in Atlanta on Saturday
A group called ‘Israel United in Christ’ protests as they gather at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta on Saturday
Several protesters at the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta protest the police-involved shooting of Rayshard Brooks on Saturday
Members of a group called ‘Israel United in Christ’ protest and sign during a demonstration at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta on Saturday
A man holds up a sign which reads ‘Say his name: Rayshard Brooks’ in Atlanta on Saturday
A woman holds up a sign which reads ‘Justice for Rayshard Brooks’ during a demonstration in Atlanta on Saturday
Protesters in downtown Atlanta holds signs which read ‘Black Lives Matter,’ ‘Abolish police,’ and ‘Justice for Rayshard Brooks’
Protesters angry over the shooting of Rayshard Brooks gather in Atlanta on Saturday to denounce the police
Ashley Brooks speaks as protesters gather on University Ave near a Wendy’s restaurant on Saturday
A woman holds a sign which reads ‘We must dismantle white supremacy now’ during a demonstration in Atlanta on Saturday
Protesters hold signs which read ‘Defund the police’ as they walk past a mural of George Floyd in Atlanta on Saturday
Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat who gained national prominence running for governor in 2018, tweeted Saturday of the shooting that ‘sleeping in a drive-thru must not end in death.’
‘The killing of #RayshardBrooks in Atlanta last night demands we severely restrict the use of deadly force,’ Abrams’ tweet said.
‘Yes, investigations must be called for – but so too should accountability.’
The officers involved in the shooting was not identified. Once its investigation is complete, the case will be turned over to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office for review.
Atlanta, like scores of other major American cities, has been roiled by protests following the May 25 death of George Floyd.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department after one officer, Derek Chauvin, was seen kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes, cutting off his air supply.
Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Three other Minneapolis police officers have also been charged with aiding and abetting.
Atlanta police have come under scrutiny for actions against protesters in recent weeks.
Six police officers – all of whom are black except for one – are facing criminal charges after they were seen violently arresting two college students for violating curfew.
Six Atlanta police officers face criminal charges after video showed they used Tasers to arrest two college students – Messiah Young (left) and Teniyah Pilgrim (right) – for breaking curfew
Body camera footage shows a group of Atlanta police officers confronting 22-year-old Messiah Young and 20-year-old Taniyah Pilgrim in a car in downtown traffic caused by protests sparked by the killing of Floyd.
Video shows the officers shouting at the students, firing Tasers at them and dragging them from the car.
Throughout the confrontation, the couple can be heard screaming and asking what they did wrong.
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigns following the death of Rayshard Brooks – just two weeks after drawing national praise for how she engaged with protesters after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis
Atlanta’s Chief of Police Erika Shields resigned yesterday evening less than a day after police fatally shot dead 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks outside of a fast food restaurant on Friday night.
Atlanta’s Chief of Police Erika Shields resigned yesterday evening less than a day after police fatally shot dead 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks outside of a fast food restaurant on Friday night
During a Saturday press conference, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that she had accepted Shields’ resignation, saying that the now former police chief had made the decision out of a desire for the Atlanta Police Department to serve as a model for reform.
‘Chief Shields has offered to immediately step aside as police chief so that the city may move forward with urgency in rebuilding the trust so desperately needed throughout our community,’ Bottoms said.
Shields said in a statement her decision was made ‘out of a deep and abiding love’ for her city. ‘It is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve,’ she said.
Just two weeks ago, Shields was lauded by journalists and commentators for how she engaged with protesters in Atlanta who were demonstrating against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in late May.
Shields was videos walking among crowds of protesters in the city following Floyd’s memorial day death, directly addressing their concerns and promising them she would work towards changing how police officers engage with the local community.
‘I hear you. I’ve heard from so many people who can’t sleep. They’re terrified, they’re crying, they’re worried for their children,’ she said late last month during one exchange with citizens voicing concern about police brutality.
She added the officers involved in Floyd’s death – Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng – should be charged and appeared at Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ side as the mayor made an impassioned plea for protesters to go home when riots started over Floyd’s killing.
Shields also fired two officers who were caught on video on May 30 using stun guns on two African American college students whose car was stuck in traffic caused by the protest.
Messiah Young, 22, and 20-year-old Taniyah Pilgrim, were also dragged from their vehicle. Throughout the confrontation the pair can be heard screaming and demanding to know what they did wrong.
When prosecutors later charged six of the officers involved, however, Shields openly questioned the charges.
Just two weeks ago, Shields was lauded by journalists and commentators for how she engaged with protesters in Atlanta who were demonstrating against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in late May
Shields was praised by MSNBC’s Joy Reid, who remarked ‘what a good police officer, a good human being and a good leader sounds like.’
Following Shields’ resignation, Interim Corrections Chief Rodney Bryant will serve as interim police chief until a permanent replacement is found.
‘For more than two decades, I have served alongside some of the finest men and women in the Atlanta Police Department,’ Shields said in a statement. ‘Out of a deep and abiding love for this City and this department, I offered to step aside as police chief. APD has my full support, and Mayor Bottoms has my support on the future direction of this department. I have faith in the Mayor, and it is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.Shields, who became chief under former Mayor Kasim Reed in December 2016, will not leave the APD entirely but her role has yet to be determined.