Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, said Officer Garret Rolfe, who shot Brooks twice in the back, and Officer Devin Bronson, of the Atlanta Police Department, faced a “dynamic situation” that was “quickly evolving.” Such factors prompted the special prosecutor to drop the charges against the officers.
On June 12, 2020, Rolfe and Brosnan responded to a call about a man who fell asleep at the wheel while waiting in the drive-thru lane of a Wendy’s restaurant in South Atlanta. The officers approached Brooks and spoke to him for nearly 40 minutes before concluding that the 27-year-old man had imbibed too much alcohol.
Patrol car and body-cam footage from the officers revealed Brooks admitting that he consumed alcohol before his encounter with law enforcement. He would later consent to a portable field alcohol test that came back above the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content. As soon as the officers tried to detain Brooks, he resisted arrest and wrestled his way out of the officers’ control, who both fell to the ground during the incident, resulting in Brosnan’s concussion.
While the officers struggled to apprehend Brooks, he snatched Brosnan’s Taser and attempted to fire at Rolfe while fleeing the scene.
That’s when Rolfe fired three bullets at Brooks, and ultimately killed him.
“Based on the facts and circumstances confronting Officer Rolfe and Officer Brosnan in this case, it is my conclusion the use of deadly force was objectively reasonable and that they did not act with criminal intent,” Skandalakis said, per Daily Mail.
The Associated Press reports that Skandalakis called it “a peaceful encounter that all of a sudden becomes a violent encounter.”
Authorities terminated Rolfe the following day and would later announce warrants against the officer, including felony murder, aggravated assault, and violation charges. However, less than a year later, authorities overturned the decision in May 2021 after a board review determined the city did not follow the proper procedures in disciplining the officer, who had been in the force for six years.
A warrant against Brosnan included charges of aggravated assault and violating his oath.
The Atlanta Police Department said it respects the special prosecutor’s decision in the case and has faith in criminal justice system.
“Both Officer Garrett Rolfe and Officer Devin Brosnan are still employed with APD,” the department said, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution. “They are currently on administrative duty. Both officers will undergo Georgia P.O.S.T. recertification and training.”
Brooks’ death came amid ongoing violent riots and protests that raged across the United States by Antifa agitators and some Black Lives Matter activists over the death of George Floyd, who was killed a few weeks before by Minneapolis police officers.
Just 24 hours after the two Atlanta policemen killed Brooks, rioters burned down the Wendy’s restaurant where the incident occurred.
“Black lives do matter,” Skandalakis said during a press conference, according to Daily Mail. “I’ve spent my entire career representing black victims of crime. I understand that the encounters between police and the African American community at times are very volatile. But I would ask them to look at the facts of this case, and this isn’t one of those cases.”
“This is a case in which the officers were willing to give Mr. Brooks every benefit of the doubt, and unfortunately, by his actions, this is what happened,” he added.