Details about Rayshard Brooks‘ cause of death have been released by the office of the medical examiner of Fulton County, Georgia, United States. He is one of the African-American people who died in the hands of white cops during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Brooks was pronounced dead in Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia on June 12, 2020. He was 27.
The autopsy on Brook’s body was performed on June 14, 2020. The cause of death was listed as gunshot wounds to the back while the manner of death was listed as homicide.
In the evening of the eighth birthday of Brooks’ eldest daughter, he was found intoxicated and asleep inside his car. The vehicle was in the drive-through of the Wendy’s fast-food restaurant at 125 University Avenue in Peoplestown, Atlanta.
Blocked by Brooks’ car, other customers at the drive-through had to drive around it to pick up their orders. It was reported to the Atlanta Police Department and it was officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Bronsan who went there to deal with the African-American man.
Initially, Brooks cooperated with Rolfe and Bronsan but when Rolfe tried to arrest Rolfe, the latter resisted and the three ended up grappling on the ground. The whole encounter was recorded not only by the cops’ body cameras but also by the restaurant’s closed-circuit television camera and other eyewitnesses.
After stealing Bronsan’s Taser, Brooks pointed the stun gun at the cops but before he could flee, Rolfe fired his gun at him. The victim died from organ damage and blood loss from two gunshot wounds, according to the autopsy performed by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office.
On June 13, 2020, Atlanta’s police chief Erika Shields resigned. On the same day, protesters set fire to the Wendy’s restaurant where Rolfe fatally shot Brooks.
“While there may be debate 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 stated. “I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force and have called for the immediate termination of the officer.”
Rolfe has been fired but a charge has yet to be filed against him. Brosnan was placed on administrative duty.