Various unofficial U.S. law enforcement channels are reporting that Atlanta Police officers have ‘walked off the job’ following the murder charges which have been brought against the two APD officers who were involved in the Rayshard Brooks shooting.
On Friday 12th June, officers received reports that a male had fallen asleep behind the wheel of a car that was parked next to a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant on University Avenue.
Officers located the male and engaged with him for around 30 minutes.
The male, later identified as Rayshard Brooks, was required to complete a field sobriety test as part of the officer’s investigation.
When Brooks failed the field sobriety test, officers placed him under arrest and went to put a cuff on him.
However, Brooks then resisted the arrest and started to fight with the officers.
During the struggle, Brooks punched one of the officers and took his taser before managing to wrestle free from the two officers.
At this point, from body-cam and CCTV footage that has been released following the incident, one of the officers fired their Taser at Brooks, but it either missed or was not effective.
Brooks then ran from the officer while still holding on to the taser that he had been able to remove from them during the struggle.
After about 15 yards, Brooks, while still running forwards, can be seen in CCTV footage to aim the tazer back towards the officer who was chasing him and fire the taser without visually aiming.
The Taser round fired by Brooks did not appear to hit the police officer who was chasing him. At this point, three shots were fired at Brooks as he continued to run from the officers.
Brooks fell to the floor and died of his injuries.
Popular police Vlogger ‘Donut Operator’, a former SWAT officer who often provides a break-down of officer-involved shootings to his 1.61 million subscribers, has suggested in a video published to his YouTube Channel that Brooks was:
‘on parole/probation’ for ‘criminal interference with Government property, obstructing of a law enforcement officers, theft by receiving stolen property, cruelty to children, false imprisonment, family violence battery and simple battery’ (source Department of Corrections – Georgia).
These charges related to an incident that occurred on 2nd March 2013.
‘Donut Operator’ claims that, ‘according to online records’ (Clayton County) Brooks received a sentence of seven years imprisonment but was released from custody on 23rd December 2014.
The former cop suggests that this could be why Brooks ran from the officers and resisted the arrest.
Officer Rolfe now faces 11 charges, including felony murder, multiple accounts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, first-degree criminal damage to property and two counts of violating his oath as a public officer.
Officer Bronson has been charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of violating his oath of office.
District Attorney Paul L Howard has brought the serious charges against the officers involved, even though the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has not completed its investigation into the shooting.
Typically, the District Attorney will wait for the relevant investigations to be completed before deciding on whether to bring charges against officers who are involved in shootings.
In a post published on their Facebook page, a spokesperson for the GBI said:
“The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Atlanta Police Department on Friday night, 12th June, to investigate an officer involved shooting at Wendy’s Restaurant on University Avenue.
“We are in the process of conducting this investigation. Although we have made significant progress in the case, we have not completed our work.
“Our goal in every officer-involved shooting case we are requested to review, is to complete a thorough, impartial investigation before we submit the file to the respective District Attorney’s Office.
“The GBI was not aware of today’s press conference [in which the charges against the officers were announced] before it was conducted.
“We were not consulted on the charges filed by the District Attorney.
“Despite today’s occurrence, the GBI will complete its mission of completing an impartial and thorough investigation of this incident, and we will submit the file, once completed, to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office”.
And it would now appear that Atlanta Police Department officers have ‘walked off the job’ in protest over how their colleagues have been treated by the District Attorney’s office.
LawOfficer.com has reported that officers in multiple districts have walked off the job, leaving the City without the ability to respond to 911 calls where police assistance is requested or required.
One source advised Law Officer that “…..entire zones of Atlanta PD Officers just drove their cars to their precincts, dropped off their keys and went home.”
While the Atlanta Police Department has not officially confirmed that its officers have walked off the job, a post shared on social media by a company called ‘G2G Event Staffing has advertised for private security officers to ‘deploy to Atlanta in the next 24 – 48 hours’.
The post appears to have since been removed from G2G’s Facebook page.
There have also been reports that, following the mass walkout by Atlanta Police Department officers, the Agency asked surrounding law enforcement agencies for help dealing with 911 calls, but that none of the agencies who were contacted offered to assist.
There have also been unconfirmed reports that 911 dispatchers have also walked out in protest.