Autopsy shows Rayshard Brooks shot in back
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 6/15/20, 06:49 pm
Peaceful protesters marched to the Georgia Capitol as 20 of Rayshard Brooks’ family members wept during a news conference in Atlanta on Monday. “When does it stop?” asked Chassidy Evans, Brooks’ niece. “We’re not only pleading for justice. We’re pleading for change.”
Brooks, an African American, had fallen asleep in his car on Friday night in the drive-thru lane of a fast-food restaurant. He failed a field sobriety test and then ran off with an officer’s stun gun after he scuffled with police when they tried to handcuff him. Video footage appears to show Brooks looking over his shoulder and pointing the stun gun at officers. An autopsy revealed he had two gunshot wounds in the back and the Fulton County Medical Examiner listed his death as a homicide.
The Atlanta Police Department on Sunday fired Officer Garrett Rolfe, who shot Brooks, and placed the other officer on the scene, Devin Brosnan, on administrative duty. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office is considering whether to charge the officers, both of whom are white. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned over the incident on Saturday.
Are any changes to police practices coming? President Donald Trump backed Senate Republicans’ proposed police reform bill that would restrict the use of chokeholds by officers, build a national database of incidents involving police use of force, and label lynching a hate crime. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only African American Republican in the Senate, plans to release the text of the bill, which makes fewer changes than a proposal from House Democrats, on Wednesday.
Dig deeper: Read Janie B. Cheaney’s analysis of the importance of local reform.
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Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.