Details from a Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) probe into the police-involved fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks last June were revealed in a recently filed court motion. According to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, most of the GBI’s findings are still not available to the public, but some of what was revealed contradict what the former district attorney who charged the officer with murder said happened.
After Rayshard Brooks was shot by police in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant in the Atlanta area, former Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said the GBI wasn’t needed, though the agency investigates nearly all of the police-involved shootings in the state, though it doesn’t determine the guilt or innocence of an officer.
Howard said cellphone and body cam footage and the testimony of bystanders was enough to bring charges against Garrett Rolfe, the officer who shot Brooks. A five-day investigation was conducted before the charges were announced, though the GBI didn’t finish its investigation until three months after that announcement.
According to Rolfe’s attorneys who cited the available details in a court motion, there were several points Howard made at the time that differ from the GBI’s findings.
Howard said that Brooks was only “slightly impaired” at the time of the deadly police encounter. A toxicology report ordered by the GBI suggests that Brooks could have had both alcohol and illicit drugs in system. The former DA said that Rolfe didn’t provide medical aid to Brooks after the shooting, though the GBI’s finding said that the officer did.
Additionally, the GBI reportedly found drugs in the car that Brooks was driving. Since Brooks was on probation already, a drug arrest could have meant he would be incarcerated again.
The newspaper maintains that only a limited amount of details from the GBI’s report –– the officer’s attorneys cited in court–– have been made public.
Fani Willis, the current Fulton District Attorney, requested that her office be removed from the case due to a conflict of interest in the way her predecessor, Howard, handled the investigation.
Rolfe was reinstated to the Atlanta Police Department last week. The newspaper reported that the case against Rolfe remains undetermined as a judge decides which office has jurisdiction to pursue the charges.
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