Atlanta PD, Bloods, deadly force, Devin Brosnan, Fani Willis, Garrett Rolfe, Paul Howard, Pete Skandalakis, political scapegoats, Rayshard Brooks, Taser, Wendy's
In The Rayshard Brooks Case, Update 10: The Facts And The Law, I noted:
The fate of Officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan as been unsettled for two years. Both men remain on administrative leave from the APD (Note: Rolfe may not be currently employed by the APD—accounts are confusing).
The former DA, Paul Howard, who charged both with multiple felonies long before the investigation was complete, lost his reelection bid to current DA Fani Willis, who is not only herself under investigation, but who recused herself from the case, apparently to avoid having to take any political responsibility. It seems no one in Atlanta wanted to do justice, so a special prosecutor, Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, was appointed.
The SMM Rayshard Brooks Case archive is here. I ended that 10th update with this:
The charges against Rolfe and Brosnan should have been dismissed long ago. They did nothing wrong, other than professionally doing their duty. Unfortunately, they are white, Brooks was a black felon and gang member, and it happened in Atlanta. Should they be forced to go to trial, they’ll be wrongfully convicted. It will be impossible for them to get a fair trial in Atlanta.
Finally, we have what may be an end of state-level prosecution attempts, as Newsmax.com reports:
A specially appointed prosecutor announced Tuesday he will not pursue charges against the two white Atlanta police officers who clashed with Rayshard Brooks during a 2020 encounter that ended with the 27-year-old Black man’s fatal shooting.
Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, said he believes Officer Garrett Rolfe, who shot and killed Brooks in June 2020, acted appropriately. He also said the second officer involved in the encounter, Officer Devin Brosnan, will not be charged.
‘Given the quickly changing circumstances, was it objectively reasonable that he used deadly force and we conclude it was,’ Skandalakis said.
While pursuing Brooks, who had just beaten Rolfe and Brosnan, tased Brosnan, and stolen his Taser, Rolfe saw brooks turn toward him, heard a report, and saw what looked like a muzzle flash. It was Brooks trying to shoot him in the face with the stolen Taser. Brooks barely missed, and Rolfe, reasonably believing Brooks was shooting at him with a firearm, returned fired, killing Brooks.
Skandalakis was appointed last year to take over the case after a judge allowed Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to recuse herself and her office. Willis had cited concerns about the actions of her predecessor, who announced a murder charge against Rolfe less than a week after the shooting.[skip]
The shooting happened against the backdrop of heightened tensions and protests nationwide in wake of the death of George Floyd under the knee of a police officer in Minneapolis less than three weeks earlier.
Sometimes-violent protests over Floyd’s death had largely subsided in Atlanta, but Brooks’ killing set off a new round of demonstrations against police brutality. Police Chief Erika Shields resigned less than 24 hours after Brooks died. Protesters set fire to the Wendy’s restaurant, which was later demolished.
The case was a racially driven political football from the beginning. Former prosecutor Paul Howard, a black prosecutor, not a prosecutor who happened to be black, was facing an uphill reelection battle. He tried to use Rolfe and Brosnan as scapegoats to win reelection by stirring up racial hate. Wills won the election by criticizing Howard’s handling of the case, but continued to play racial politics.
Skandalakis said he believes that context had an impact on how the events unfolded and acknowledged that encounters between police and the African American community are sometimes ‘very volatile,’ but he said he doesn’t believe race played a role in this instance.
Which is what I’ve been reporting from the beginning.
‘This isn’t one of those cases,’ he said. ‘This is a case in which the officers were willing to give Mr. Brooks every benefit of the doubt and, you know, unfortunately, by his actions, this is what happened.’
Both officers were not only professional, but actually kind to Brooks.
Skandalakis called it ‘a peaceful encounter that all of a sudden becomes a violent encounter,’ saying that once Brooks took the Taser from Brosnan, he assumed an offensive position.
Porter said Brooks had already overpowered two officers and violently brought them to the ground and Rolfe acted in accordance with Georgia law and Atlanta Police Department policy given the facts of the situation.
It’s amazing it took so long to reach the obvious conclusion. This really was a cut and dried case of the lawful use of deadly force, but racial politics destroy everything they touch.
Five days after Brooks was killed, then-Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard held a dramatic news conference to announce warrants had been taken out against Rolfe and Brosnan. Rolfe’s charges included felony murder, aggravated assault and violation of his oath. Brosnan was charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath.
Skandalakis said Tuesday he would file paperwork to dismiss those warrants.
I doubt, gentle readers, this will be the end of this case. Various media outlets are reporting Rolfe and Brosnan have been doing administrative duties, and will have to undergo retraining before being allowed on the street. Unless I’m missing some facet of Georgia law relating to police training standards, I’ve no idea why this would be necessary. Is it an attempt by the police department, more specifically its corrupt civilian rulers, to harass and embarrass the officers, perhaps to get them to resign?
Let’s be clear, Brooks was a convicted felon, on parole, wanted on warrants the night he died. A short time before he died, he admitted on a podcast any infraction would put him back in jail. Rolfe and Brosnan didn’t know about those warrants or Brooks’ criminal history, but Brooks did. He was also a member of the Bloods, one of the most vicious, genuinely racist criminal gangs in America. So of course the media has portrayed him as a model citizen and father, a true social justice martyr.
Media accounts blatantly lied, saying Brooks was merely “sleeping” in his car in a Wendy’s parking lot, implying the officers sought him out and harassed him for sleeping while black. Actually, Brooks was driving drunk and drugged, and passed out in the Wendy’s drive through lane, which is why the police were called.
I’ve said it before: Rolfe and Brosnan would be foolish to remain at the Atlanta PD. They’d have enormous, glowing targets on their backs, and not only racist criminals would be targeting them, but their own city “leaders” and high ranking police administrators would be gunning for them. That Rolfe and Brosnan responded was mere chance.
Media outlets are reporting Brooks’ survivors are planning lawsuits, and I’d be amazed if the Biden Meat Puppet Department of Justice didn’t persecute them. For Rolfe and Brosnan, this is far from over.
The smart move, for them both, would be to complete retraining, become fully certified, and resign. Perhaps another occupation would be best, or if not, there are probably law enforcement agencies in other states that still allow police officers to enforce the law, and that consider violent criminal assault on officers to be somewhat concerning.
By all means, gentle readers, take the link to the archive and read every article. I’ll add to them as necessary in the future.
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Mike McDaniel said:
As always, thanks for the link!
What has always troubled me most about this, is that I can’t fathom the charges against Brosnan. I can see arguments about excessive use of force by Rolfe (not that I agree with them), but all Brosnan did was act professionally, get assaulted, and have his Taser stolen. Yet he was arrested, publicly fired and humiliated, and now his chosen career is pretty much out the window.
Mike McDaniel said:
Why charge Brosnan? That’s easy: he is white, Brooks was black. Racial politics is the status quo there, and even local politicians and police administrators–they’re politicians too–who aren’t reflexively racist didn’t want the rest of the city burned to the ground. It was racist mob appeasement, largely, and of course, there were some racist true believers too.
Mike, I’m with you on that, but charging Brosnan just made it clear how much this case was about race, politics, appeasement, and not the rule of law. They could have charged only Rolfe, to the same effect, and it would have been arguable, but I can’t see anything, in the heat of the moment, that could have formed a charge against Brosnan, which made it crystal clear that the prosecutors motivations were malevolent.
Mike McDaniel said:
What you said. He was a cop. He was white. Every charge they could think of.
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