How Rayshard Brooks Was Fatally Shot by the Atlanta Police

One officer has been fired and another placed on administrative duty. A Times video analysis shows the sequence of events leading to the fatal shooting.

The Atlanta Police Department said early Sunday that an officer had been fired over the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks, 27, at a Wendy’s restaurant. The officer, Garrett Rolfe, who had worked with the department since 2013, fired his handgun three times while he was chasing Mr. Brooks, who the authorities said had seized a Taser from an officer and fired it as he ran. Another officer on the scene, Devin Brosnan, who has been with the department for less than two years, was placed on administrative duty.
The Times analyzed eyewitness videos, police bodycam footage and security camera footage of the events to determine what happened in the minutes preceding Mr. Brooks’s death. We synchronized the footage to hear what happened and determine precisely when Officer Rolfe fired his gun, and we reviewed other details of the shooting released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The chronology below uses the time stamp displayed on police body camera and dash camera footage.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of what happened:

At 10:33 p.m. on Friday, police officers were called to a Wendy’s restaurant at 125 University Avenue in South Atlanta. Mr. Brooks had fallen asleep in his vehicle, which was parked in the drive-through, causing other customers to drive around him, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

10:42 p.m. Officer Brosnan arrives and wakes Mr. Brooks.

Officer Brosnan says: “All right, you good? Just pull in somewhere and take a n … All right, you good?” Mr. Brooks parks in a nearby car space.
Officer Brosnan appears to be unsure whether he should let Mr. Brooks sleep in the car or should take further action. At 10:49 p.m., he contacts police dispatch and requests another police officer.

10:56 p.m. Officer Rolfe arrives and consults with Officer Brosnan. Officer Rolfe questions Mr. Brooks, who says he didn’t drive to Wendy’s but was dropped off. Officer Rolfe rejects the statement.

11:03 p.m. Officer Rolfe checks whether Mr. Brooks is armed. He is not.

11:04 p.m. Officer Rolfe performs a sobriety test on Mr. Brooks over the next seven minutes. Mr. Brooks is compliant and friendly with the officers throughout this time. He says he is not too drunk to drive.

Officer Rolfe asks Mr. Brooks to take a breath test for alcohol. Mr. Brooks admits he has been drinking and says, “I don’t want to refuse anything.”

Mr. Brooks asks the officers if he can lock his car up under their supervision and walk to his sister’s house, which he says is a short distance away. “I can just go home,” he says.

11:23 p.m. The two officers have been at the scene for 27 minutes. When the breath test is complete, Officer Rolfe tells Mr. Brooks he “has had too much drink to be driving,” and begins to handcuff him. Less than a minute later, Mr. Brooks is shot.

Police footage and video filmed by a witness, Tiachelle Brown, shows Mr. Brooks grappling with the officers on the ground. Officer Rolfe says, “Stop that. Stop fighting, stop fighting,” and Officer Brosnan shouts, “You’re going to get Tased.”
Mr. Brooks says “Mr. Rolfe, come on man. Mr. Rolfe.” He seizes a Taser from Officer Brosnan, stands up and punches Officer Rolfe. Officer Rolfe fires his Taser gun. The darts hit Mr. Brooks, and Officer Rolfe continues trying to stun him.

Mr. Brooks runs away, holding Officer Brosnan’s Taser gun. Officer Rolfe gives chase, and continues to try to stun Mr. Brooks.

The security camera footage filmed at Wendy’s shows Officer Rolfe chasing Mr. Brooks. In seconds, Officer Rolfe passes his Taser from his right hand to his left hand, and reaches for his handgun.

While being chased, and in full stride, Mr. Brooks looks behind him, points the Taser he is holding in Officer Rolfe’s direction, and fires it. The flash of the Taser suggests that Mr. Brooks did not fire it with any real accuracy.

Officer Rolfe discards the Taser he is carrying, draws his handgun and fires it three times at Mr. Brooks as he is running away. Mr. Brooks falls to the ground. Warning: This footage is disturbing. The time stamp lags the police bodycam time stamp by one minute.

11:23 p.m. For the next minute, Officer Rolfe and Officer Brosnan stand over Mr. Brooks, who is injured but moving on the ground, and occasionally reach down to him. Officer Brosnan appears to use his radio. Neither officer appears to provide medical assistance to Mr. Brooks. Another police car arrives at the scene.

11:24 p.m. Another video shows Officer Rolfe running back to his S.U.V. and calling for help over his radio. Bystanders denounce the shooting to a third police officer who is at the scene.

11:25 p.m. Officer Rolfe and Officer Brosnan begin to provide medical assistance. Officer Rolfe appears to unroll a bandage and place it on Mr. Brooks’s torso.

11:30 p.m. An ambulance arrives. Eight minutes later, Mr. Brooks is taken to a hospital, where he dies after surgery.

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