Police killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta ruled a homicide
The authorities in Georgia ruled on Sunday that Rayshard Brooks's fatal police shooting before a Wendy's in Atlanta was a murder.
The 27-year-old Brooks died after being shot in the back twice on Friday, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office said in a statement. Brooks was shot in the parking lot after a confrontation with two Atlanta police officers.
The police had been called there because a man in the drive had slept in his car.
Brooks fought with the officials after they ran a field sobriety test and tried to detain him. The surveillance video appears to show Brooks running away from the officers with a stun gun he had taken from one of them, said Vic Reynolds, director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
While running, Brooks seemed to turn around and point the gun at the police, Reynolds said
"At this point, the Atlanta officer reaches down and takes his gun out of his holster, unloads it, hits Mr. Brooks there in the parking lot, and goes down."
L. Chris Stewart, an attorney for Brooks' family, said Brooks should not have been subjected to lethal violence because he appeared to have a stun gun.
"Of extreme concern about the murder of Rayshard Brooks is the fact that he was shot in the back several times while fleeing," said Stewart and legal partner Justin Miller in a statement on Saturday.
Atlanta police chief Erika Shields resigned from the shootout and said in a statement, "It is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve." Garrett Rolfe, the officer who shot Brooks, was released. A second officer, Devin Brosnan, was transferred to the administrative service.
Full coverage of George Floyd's death and protests across the country
The shootout sparked protests near the Wendy's on Saturday evening, which were set on fire.
Brooks' death occurs amid widespread protests against George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis on May 25. Floyd died after a policeman knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.
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