On June 12, Rayshard Brooks was sleeping in his car. That car was parked in the parking lot of an Atlanta, Georgia Wendy’s.
Police officers arrived when they received a complaint about Brooks sleeping in his car. Brooks resisted arrest and attempted to flee when the officers wanted to take him down to the station for a sobriety test. That’s when one of the two officers used their taser, but when the struggle ensued, Officer Garrett Rolfe took out his gun and shot Brooks twice in the back.
Brooks is a black man and a father of four, who was just 27 years old. In fact, as People reported, he was set to celebrate his daughter’s birthday the next day. According to one of the family’s attorneys Justin Miller, “he was supposed to take his daughter skating today for her birthday.”
“When we were over there today she had her birthday dress on because she was waiting for her dad to come pick her up to take her to go skating. Yesterday she and her dad went, she got her nails done and her toes done, they got something to eat.”
Following emergency surgery, Brooks succumbed to his injuries. According to Fulton County medical examiner’s office, Brooks “died of organ damage and blood loss caused by two gunshot wounds to his back,” BuzzFeed News reported.
Now his death has been ruled a homicide. Miller shared what it was like talking to Brooks’ wife as their daughter celebrated her 8th birthday.
“They had a birthday party for her. An eighth birthday today with cupcakes, while we were sitting there talking to her mom about why her dad’s not coming home. That’s the part of it that we see every day that everybody doesn’t see. And that’s the part that just, it hits you right here. It’s terrible.”
Family of Rayshard Brooks Learned of His Death at Daughter 8th Birthday
According to Buzzfeed, videos from the shooting show that the two officers talked to Brooks for 41 minutes and 17 seconds. During that time, Brooks repeatedly asked the officers if they would let him walk to his sisters’ house which was nearby.
As a result, Atlanta police chief Erika Shields has resigned and Officer Rolfe has been fired while the other officer present at the time, Officer Devin Brosnan, has been placed on leave. They both are now facing charges. According to CBS News, Rolfe faces 11 criminal charges, including felony murder, which if convicted means he could spend life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“I thought this was finally going to start ending,” Brooks’ family’s second lawyer, L. Chris Stewart, said during the press conference. “I’ve been doing this for 15 years, I don’t know what justice is anymore. Is it getting them arrested? Is it getting somebody fired? Is it a chief stepping down? I know that this isn’t justice, what’s happening in society right now.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up for the Brooks family.
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