Rayshard Brooks: Police release video showing final moments before death of black man

  • london
  • June 15, 2020
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This newly-released video captures the final moments before a black man was shot dead by police after being stopped for a routine breathalyser test.

Rayshard Brooks, 27, was killed in an encounter with two white officers late on Friday, reigniting racial tensions and protests in Atlanta and prompting the police chief’s resignation.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office said on Sunday that the death was a homicide.

An autopsy conducted on Sunday showed that Mr Brooks died from blood loss and organ injuries caused by two gunshot wounds.

Police said Officer Garrett Rolfe, who fired the fatal shots, had been sacked and officer Devin Brosnan was placed on desk duty.

Rayshard Brooks Protests – In pictures

It follows three weeks of global Black Lives Matter demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd, an African American, in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

Mr Brooks’ fatal encounter with police came after an employee of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta phoned authorities to say that someone had fallen asleep in his car in the restaurant’s drive-through lane.

In a video newly released by Atlanta police, the two officers’ body cameras and a dashcam in their patrol car showed they spent more than 40 minutes peacefully questioning Brooks and he complied for a breathaliser test.

He mentions celebrating his daughter’s birthday and says: “I just had a few drinks, that’s all.”

Rayshard Brooks was questioned and breathalysed before a struggle broke out (via REUTERS)

Mr Rolfe does not tell Mr Brooks that he failed the breathalyser test.

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

The fighting erupted when the officers tried to handcuff him, seeing a scuffle break out between Mr Brooks and the officers.

Mr Brooks is then heard running away while officers chase him and shout “stop fighting”. Three gunshots then ring out.

What appears to be a Taser was fired during the scuffle (Atlanta police)

Both officers’ body cameras were knocked to the ground in the struggle but separate CCTV footage showed Mr Brooks turn and point what appeared to be a Taser at one of the officers, who was pursuing him steps behind.

The officer draws his gun and fires and Mr Brooks collapses to the ground. He later died in hospital.

On Saturday night, Wendy’s went up in flames as 36 people were arrested at angry protests. Authorities announced a $10,000 reward for information on those responsible.

Protesters outside Wendy’s where the incident took place (AP)

More than 100 people protested peacefully at the site on Sunday evening.

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, who joined the department as a beat officer in 1995, has resigned.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is preparing to present the findings of its investigation to prosecutors.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said in a statement he hopes to reach a decision by midweek on whether to bring charges against the officers.