Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by Atlanta police after an encounter with two officers that took place around 10:30 p.m. June 12; new video from the Wendy’s where the incident took place shows the Brooks’ final moments with Atlanta police.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI), Brooks was sleeping at a Wendy’s drive-thru when someone called the police to complain. When police arrived, there was a struggle which ended with Brooks dead.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation wrote that it “has obtained additional surveillance video from the Wendy’s restaurant. Agents have also reviewed video posted on social media. These new videos indicate that during a physical struggle with officers, Brooks obtained one of the officer’s Tasers and began to flee from the scene. 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…An earlier account of this incident was based on the officer’s body cam which was knocked off during the physical struggle, preventing the capture of the entire shooting incident.” You can see that video and citizen video from the scene later in this article.
Here’s what you need to know:
Mutliple Videos Appear to Show Happened
According to Buzzfeed, in one video, a witness said they saw police talking to Brooks for 20 minutes before the shooting. “I saw you all talking to him for 20 minutes,” the person recording said. “Unarmed. Non-violent. Nothing wrong with how he conducted himself whatsoever, and you pull a f*cking gun dude?”
A 35-second video tweeted by Eric Wassserman, there is footage of Brooks’ encounter with police, and it starts out showing Brooks and the officers struggling on the ground.
In the video, Brooks appears to be stiffening his left arm and refusing to allow the officer in front of him to push the arm behind his back; an officer behind him holds Brooks’ torso. The scuffle on the ground ends when Brooks stands with something yellow in his right hand that appears to be a taser and one of the officers points a similar-taser-like item at Brooks.
Brooks begins running away from the officers, past the camera and out of the frame, while the other two officers chase him.
New video has emerged showing footage from the Wendy’s where the incident took place, which picks up after the three men run out of the frame of the first video.
That footage shows Brooks running when he turns around for a second, then turns his body away from the officer again. At the same time, the officer nearest to Brooks appears to have his arm raised.
Video taken after the arrest show the officers standing over the body.
The GBI Is Investigating the Incident
In a press release, the GBI said, “Witnesses report that during the struggle the male subject grabbed and was in possession of the Taser. It has also been reported that the male subject was shot by an officer in the struggle over the Taser.”
Atlantans woke up to disturbing videos and reports of Rayshard being killed by the Atlanta Police Department. At this time, we must address the oversaturated police presence in Atlanta’s Black communities.
GBI Director Vic Reynolds held a press conference, during which he said he believes three shots, saying, “As he gets his weapon, (Brooks) begins turning his body away from him, I presume to flee and that’s when it looks like the weapon is discharged.”
We have now seen full video from the Wendy’s restaurant showing this gentleman entering into the video frame running or fleeing from Atlanta police officers. It appears he has and his hand a taser, you can see that at least to the naked eye that is what it appears.
He runs a relatively short distance, looks like five, six, seven parking spaces-distance. At that point, he turns around and it appears to the eye that he points the taser at the Atlanta officer. At that point, the Atlanta officer reaches down and retrieves his weapon from his holster discharges it. It strikes Mr. Brooks there in the parking lot and he goes down. That information has been corroborated by a witness we have interviewed and that is the information we have at this point.
I don’t want anyone in any circumstances to rush to any form of judgment, it’s very easy to do in these cases on either side. We realize there is a tremendous amount of emotion and passion involved in these cases and certainly with the way the environment is now, it’s certainly enhanced. I would humbly, respectfully ask the public to just wait a minute.
Reynolds also said he had advised agents to expedite the investigation, which will include enhancing the video, while remaining thorough. He also said the GBI will hand over the results of their investigation to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office, where final decisions will be made.
The Atlanta Police Chief Has Stepped Down And the GBI Says It Will Continue Investigating
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields has since stepped down and she also released a statement:
For more than two decades, I have served alongside some of the finest men and women in the Atlanta Police Department. Out of a deep and abiding love for this City and this department, I offered to step aside as police chief. APD has my full support, and Mayor Bottoms has my support on the future direction of this department. I have faith in the Mayor, and it is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.