Death of Rayshard Brooks: Officers’ Attorney Statements

Learning Every Side of the Story

On June 12th in Atlanta, GA, Rayshard Brooks fell asleep in his car in a Wendy’s drive-thru lane when two police officers approached him. Officer Rolfe and Officer Brosnan administered a breathalyzer test and, after Mr. Brooks failed it, they attempted to arrest him. Allegedly, Mr. Brooks attempted to refuse Officer Rolfe’s handcuffs by grabbing Officer Brosnan’s taser and running away.

After that, things went south.

Mr. Brooks allegedly pointed the stolen taser back at the officers, and Officer Rolfe fired three shots in return, killing the father of three. District Attorney Paul Howard filed charges against both officers: Officer Rolfe was charged with 11 criminal counts while Officer Brosnan was charged with aggravated assault and two violations of oath of office. After reviewing and analyzing the evidence and details of the crime scene, the DA’s office concluded that Mr. Brooks never posed as a threat prior to his encounter with the officers.

As a result, this violent incident quickly made national headlines, which is why it’s important to form educated opinions and understand everybody’s accounts. In this case, the majority opinion understandably favors the victim, Mr. Brooks. Thus, we invite you to learn the defendants’ accounts of the scene via their attorneys’ statements, featured in the Antigua Observer.

Officer Brosnan’s Attorney Statement

Officer Brosnan did not murder Mr. Brooks, but he still needs to defend himself vigorously. This is because he is still facing several criminal charges as a result of his presence at the crime scene and failure to protect Mr. Brooks from danger. As such, his attorney released a statement advocating for Devin Brosnan’s innocence:

“When Devin initially responded to the scene, he thought that Mr. Brooks had had a long day or possibly had a medical condition … Devin’s only intention was to investigate and get further information about the situation … At the beginning of Devin’s interaction with Rayshard Brooks, Mr. Brooks was polite and affable. Mr. Brooks appeared to be impaired — either from a medical condition or possibly from alcohol … Various videos from that evening had been widely circulated. Devin did not know that officer Rolfe was going to arrest Mr. Brooks … When Devin saw Officer Rolfe bring Mr. Brooks’ hands behind his back Devin followed his training and moved in to assist Officer Rolfe … During that struggle, Devin pulled out his taser and warned Mr. Brooks to stop resisting or he would be tased … Instead, Mr. Brooks took his taser from him and Mr. Brooks used it against Devin. To be clear, at no time did Devin pull out his firearm … After Mr. Brooks ran away, with Officer Rolfe in pursuit, Devin got up and followed … After Mr. Brooks was shot, Devin ran to the location where Mr. Brooks had fallen … Devin did what he could to save Mr. Brooks.”

Officer Rolfe’s Attorney Statement

Officer Rolfe murdered Mr. Brooks, which many believe was another act of unjustified police brutality. While this could prove true, his attorney released a statement explaining the incident from Officer Rolfe’s perspective, and defends his decision to fire shots at Mr. Brooks:

“On June 12, 2020, a Wendy’s employee called 911 to report a man who was passed out behind the wheel of his vehicle and blocking traffic in the drive-through. Officer Brosnan responded, and … After determining alcohol may have been a contributing factor, he requested Officer Rolfe’s assistance … After a thorough investigation, Officer Rolfe determined Mr. Brooks was impaired and driving a vehicle in violation of Georgia law … Mr. Brooks was polite and cooperative until Officer Rolfe placed him under arrest … Mr. Brooks chose to violently attack two uniformed police officers … He then escalated his resistance by punching Officer Rolfe in the face … Mr. Brooks continued his assault and disarmed Officer Brosnan, stealing his city-issued TASER … [and] began running through a crowded parking lot … Mr. Brooks reached back with his arm extended and pointed an object at Officer Rolfe. Officer Rolfe heard a sound like a gunshot and saw a flash in front of him. Fearing for his safety, and the safety of the civilians around him, [he] dropped his taser and fired his service weapon at [Mr. Brooks’ back] … Officer Rolfe’s actions were justified under O.C.G.A. §17-4-20 and O.C.G.A. §16-3-21.”

Key Takeaways

People’s opinions about who’s guilty and what charges should be administered may vary, but it’s necessary to learn both the victim’s and defendants’ accounts of the incident, even if the details seem clear. It’s evident that Officer Rolfe acknowledged his involvement in Mr. Brooks’ murder, but justified his reasoning for doing so. Officer Brosnan, who did not kill Mr. Brooks but was present and witnessed the scene, seems to not have predicted or caused Mr. Brooks’ murder and did what he could to help the victim after the damage was done.

At Willis Law Firm, our defense attorney understands the importance of articulating a defendant’s side of the story in a powerful, compelling manner. Serving as a voice for the voiceless is a serious job, which means it’s important to retain an advocate who can aggressively and strategically defend your rights. In this example, the officers’ livelihoods depend on their lawyers’ ability to successfully defend their freedom, further demonstrating why your choice of legal representation is a critical decision.

Our lawyer obtains 23+ years of experience and a 93% DUI case success rate. Schedule your free consultation by calling (404) 566-5199 to learn how we can help you!