Ex-officer, officer charged in Rayshard Brooks' shooting surrender to authorities
ATLANTA - Former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe and Officer Devin Brosnan surrendered to authorities a day after the Fulton County District Attorney filed charges against them in connection to the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks.
Brosnan turned himself around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Fulton County Jail records show. Rolfe surrendered within 5 hours later.
Officer Devin Brosnan faces charges in connection to the shooting death of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks (Fulton County Sheriff's Office).
FULL COVERAGE ON THE DEATH OF RAYSHARD BROOKS
Officer Devin Brosnan, 26, was escorted by his attorney Don Samuel arrived at the Fulton County jail about 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning. Brosnan faces aggravated assault and two counts of violation of oath of office. He was in and out of the jail in two hours, after posting a $50,000 signature bond.
A huge bank of local and national cameras awaited the officer when he left the jail.
Brosnan's attorney responded to DA Paul Howard's claim that the officer stood on Brook's shoulders after he was shot twice in the back. Attorney Don Samuel said his client suffered a concussion and did not realize who shot whom initially.
"Mr. Brooks is alive he is talking, he's moving. He is initially, for a matter of seconds, concerned about whether he has access to a weapon. He knows Mr. Brooks has his Taser. He puts his foot down on his arm just to make sure he doesn't have a weapon. It is like 6 seconds to stabilize the scene. And the DA calls that aggravated assault?" Attorney Samuel questions.
He believes the charges are unreasonable.
Rolfe, the officer who pulled the trigger, faces 11 charges, including felony murder and multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon. The felony murder charge against Rolfe, 27, carries life in prison or the death penalty if prosecutors decide to seek it.
Garrett Rolfe (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)
The district attorney's office recommended no bond. Rolfe hired a new attorney who responded to the charges.
"Mr. Brooks chose to attack two officers, to disarm one of them, and to point and fire a deadly weapon at Officer Rolfe, he took their lives, and his own, into his hands. He took the risk that their justified response might be a deadly one. Nobody is here to applaud the death of Mr. Brooks. He was a father, he was a member of his community, and his death was a tragedy. But not every tragedy is a crime," defense attorney Noah Pines responded.
After being booked into the Fulton County jail, Rolfe was transferred to the Gwinnett County Adult Detention Center. This is a common practice for law enforcement officers who are arrested.
Rolfe was terminated from the Atlanta Police Department shortly after the shooting.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced the charges Wednesday. He said Brosnan stood on Brooks’ shoulder as he struggled for his life.
Brooks, 27, was shot and killed the night of June 12 at a Wendy's restaurant along University Avenue in southeast Atlanta. The officers were called over complaints of a car blocking the restaurant’s drive-thru lane.
A struggle ensued between Brooks and the officers when they attempted to handcuff him, dashcam video showed. In the struggle, Brooks grabbed a Taser and ran, firing it at the officer, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said. Shots were fired at Brooks as he was running away, surveillance video from the Wendy's showed.
An autopsy revealed he was shot twice in the back.
Rolfe’s lawyers said he feared for his and others’ safety and was justified in shooting Brooks. Rolfe opened fire after hearing a sound “like a gunshot and saw a flash in front of him,” apparently from the Taser.
“Mr. Brooks violently attacked two officers and disarmed one of them. When Mr. Brooks turned and pointed an object at Officer Rolfe, any officer would have reasonably believed that he intended to disarm, disable or seriously injure him,” the lawyers said in a statement.
The prosecutor said Brooks “never presented himself as a threat” during a more than 40-minute interaction with officers before the shooting.
The decision to prosecute came less than five days after the killing rocked Atlanta — and the nation — already roiling from the death of George Floyd under a police officer’s knee in Minneapolis late last month.
Brosnan and Rolfe were given until 6 p.m. Thursday, June 18, to turn themselves in. Howard said he would request a $50,000 bond for Brosnan and no bail for Rolfe.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.