Skip to main content

Atlanta Police Shoot and Kill Fleeing Black Man — What to Know


[Warning: Video is disturbing]

The face of the Atlanta Police Department changed in a matter of hours after officers shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, 27, on Friday. Here’s what to know about the developing case.

1. Brooks Was Sleeping at Wendys Drive Thru

Police on Friday received a complaint about a man sleeping in a vehicle at a Wendy’s drive thru, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. That was Brooks.

As seen on surveillance footage, officers questioned him in the parking lot about whether he was intoxicated, and performed a field sobriety test. The breathalyzer returned a .108. Police went to arrest Brooks, but a struggle ensued.

Video shows at least one officer shooting him as he fled.

2. Brooks Grabbed a Taser When An Officer Tried to Stun Him

As seen on footage, Brooks grabbed one of the officers Taser when they tried to use it on him. From the GBI, which is investigating the incident:

Officers pursued Brooks on foot and during the chase, Brooks turned and pointed the Taser at the officer.  The officer fired his weapon, striking Brooks.

3. Atlanta Police Chief Steps Down

The case landed on a fraught cultural fissure: The ongoing national debate on how law enforcement treat people of color, especially black men.

“In the video, I see a man literally fighting and then running for his life,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, on Sunday morning

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned Saturday over the shooting.

“While there may be a debate about whether this was an appropriate use of deadly force, I firmly believe there is a clear distinction between what you can do and what you should do,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said according to WSB-TV. “I have called for the immediate termination of the officer.”

Shields said she “offered” to resign.

Rodney Bryant, who served as deputy chief until his retirement from the APD in April 2019, will serve as interim chief.

4. Officer Who Shot Brooks Has Been Fired

Garrett Rolfe, a six-year veteran of the APD, was identified as the officer who shot and killed Brooks. Another officer, Devin Brosnan, is on administrative leave.

[Screengrab via Atlanta Police Department]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: