• Fired Officer Garrett Rolfe was to face felony murder and aggravated assault charges
  • Fellow Officer Devin Brosnan also was to be charged but has decided to cooperate with authorities
  • Fulton County DA Paul Howard said Rayshard Brooks presented no threat to officers when he was shot in the back

Fulton County (Georgia) District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr. issued arrest warrants Wednesday for the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks, who was killed at a Wendy's after he tried to run off with an officer's Taser. The officers have until Thursday evening to surrender.

The charges came on the same day Senate Republicans unveiled a bill that would encourage policing reforms.

Howard said former Officer Garrett Rolfe was to be charged with felony murder and aggravated assault, as well as violating his oath as a police officer. Howard said witness statements and review of video of the incident indicated Brooks posed no threat as he ran away from officers and was shot in the back twice in the parking long of an Atlanta Wendy’s Friday night.

Police originally were called to the scene because Brooks had fallen asleep in the drive-through line. He struggled with officers when they tried to arrest him for driving drunk, grabbing one of the officers’ Taser and firing it twice. Howard said the Taser no longer posed a threat when Brooks was shot.

"Mr. Brooks never presented himself as a threat," Howard said in justifying the decision to file criminal charges. He said Brooks was cooperative with officers throughout most of the encounter.

"Mr. Brooks never displayed any aggressive behavior for 41 minutes and 17 seconds," Howard said.

Howard also faulted officers for not seeking immediate medical attention for Brooks. He said Rolfe kicked the victim after shooting him, and the other officer, Devin Brosnan, stood on Brooks' shoulders.

"The demeanor of the officers did not reflect any fear or danger of Mr. Brooks but their actions really reflected other kinds of emotions," Howard said.

Howard said Brosnan was cooperating with authorities and would be released on $50,000 signature bond. He said prosecutors would request Rolfe to be held without bond.

The murder charges are the second in recent weeks filed against a police officer. Minneapolis prosecutors filed murder charges against former Officer Derek Chauvin who knelt on the neck of George Floyd for 8 minutes and 46 seconds as the man pleaded for air. Chauvin was being held on $1 million bond. Three other officers also were charged

Floyd’s death touched off a wave of sometimes violent racial justice demonstrations across the country. Brooks’ shooting led to a protest during which the Wendy’s was burned down.