The special prosecutor overseeing the investigation into the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks by Atlanta police officers announced Tuesday afternoon that he would not pursue charges.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, made the announcement Tuesday afternoon in Morrow, GA.
Brooks, 27, was shot and killed June 12, 2020, after Officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan tried to arrest him for DUI in the parking lot of a Wendy’s on University Avenue. The shooting set off protests around the city and at the fast food restaurant, which was burned to the ground.
Police Chief Erika Shields resigned after the incident, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced criminal charges against both officers, and Rolfe – who fired the fatal shot – was fired. He was reinstated by the city’s Civil Service Board in 2021. Both officers are still employed by APD working on administrative duty.
“This case of Devin Brosnan and Garrett Rolfe is not like the George Floyd case,” Skandalakis said during the press conference. “This is not a case in which an officer was kneeling on a prone suspect for nine minutes. It’s nothing like that. Nor is it like the Ahmaud Arbery case, where armed citizens were chasing a person down through a neighborhood. This case, its facts, are different. Its facts are distinct. But you can’t ignore the fact that all of this was happening about the same time.”
Former Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter was also at the press conference. He reviewed the case at Skandalakis’ request, according to the AJC.
Porter said Rolfe and Brosnan acted in accordance with Georgia law and policies of the Atlanta Police Department after Brooks fought with the officers and then attempted to flee the scene.
Skandalakis said he believes the use of deadly force was “objectively reasonable” and the officers “did not act with criminal intent.”
Mayor Andre Dickens released a statement shortly after the announcement.
“My heart continues to ache for the family of Rayshard Brooks,” Dickens said.” He was a father whose absence will forever be felt by our community. Over the last two years, our country has been engaged in important discussions about policing in America. We must maintain our commitment to the work of creating safe communities through collaboration between police and the people they serve.
“In Atlanta, we hold ourselves to the highest standards. Through engagement with community advocates, the Atlanta City Council, the Atlanta Police Department and others, we have listened and moved forward proactively with significant reforms. The Department has reviewed its standard operating procedures and enhanced training on how to deescalate confrontations. We are continually investing in training to ensure our officers make up the most qualified and proficient force in the country.
“As Mayor, I remain committed to building the bonds of trust between our residents and the public safety personnel who serve us.”
Attorneys for Brooks’ family said they will pursue a civil case against the officers, according to a report from GPB.