Rayshard Brooks was shot in the back twice by a white police officer -this is why he was arrested

Monday, 15th June 2020, 2:56 pm
Updated Monday, 15th June 2020, 3:05 pm
Demonstrators in Atalanta have paid tribute to Rayshard Brooks over the weekend (Getty Images)

The shooting of a black man in America by two white police officers on Friday has rekindled Black Lives Matter protests in Atlanta and across the United States.

Rayshard Brooks was undergoing a routine sobriety check when events spiralled and police officer Garrett Rolfe shot the fleeing 27-year-old. Officer Garrett Rolfe has since been fired, while his partner Devin Brosnan has been placed on administrative leave.

The death of Mr Brooks has been met with anger with initially peaceful protests at the Wendy’s restaurant where he was arrested and killed descending into chaos and culminating in the fast-food outlet being set alight. The protests prompted 36 arrests.

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His death comes amidst widespread protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis

An investigation into the death of Brooks is now underway with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms saying she believes that he shooting was not justified.

Why was Brooks arrested? 

The officers were called late on Friday over complaints of a car blocking the restaurant's drive-thru lane.

Mr Brosnan arrived first and found Mr Brooks alone in the car, apparently asleep.

Mr Brooks agreed to move the car, showed his license, and Mr Rolfe arrived minutes later to conduct a sobriety check.

After peaceful discussions Mr Rolfe announced that he was being arrested. Body-cam footage suggests that Rolfe didn’t explain that Mr Brooks’ was being placed in police custody as his blood alcohol content was 0.108 grams, over the Georgia limit of 0.08.

What happened when Rolfe was arrested? 

"All right, I think you've had too much to drink to be driving," Mr Rolfe tells Brooks. "Put your hands behind your back."

The video shows each officer take hold of one of Brooks' wrists as Mr Rolfe tries to handcuff him.

Brooks tries to run and the officers take him to the ground.

"Stop fighting!" one officer yells.

As Brooks fights to stand, Mr Brosnan presses a Taser to his leg and threatens to stun him.

Brooks grabs the Taser and pulls it away. He struggles to his feet, the Taser in his hand, and starts running.

Mr Rolfe fires his Taser and a yelp can be heard above the weapon's electric crackle.

He runs after Brooks, and seconds later three gunshots sound.

Footage released from a Wendy's security camera showed Brooks turn and point an object in his hand at one of the officers, who was steps behind him. The officer draws his gun and fires.

The Wendy’s footage suggests that following Mr Brooks’ shooting neither officer immediately provided medical assistance.

Death ruled as homicide

On Monday a medical examiner ruled that Rayshard Brooks’ death was a homicide.

Brooks died of blood loss and organ injuries after he was shot in the back twice