Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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Rayshard Brooks Death Declared Homicide

According to the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office, the death of Rayshard Brooks, a black man killed by a white police officer in Atlanta on Friday, was a homicide caused by gunshot wounds to the back.

Brooks’ death reignited protests in Atlanta after days of worldwide protests against racism and police brutality prompted by the death of George Floyd, an African American, in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

An autopsy conducted on Sunday showed that Brooks, 27, died from blood loss and organ injuries caused by two gunshot wounds, an investigator for the medical examiner said in a statement. The manner of his death was homicide, the statement said.

The Fulton County District Attorney criticized the police officers’ handling of Brooks’ fatal shooting and said that a decision on whether to bring charges could come around Wednesday.

Brooks’ fatal encounter with police came after an employee of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta phoned authorities to say that someone had fallen asleep in his car in the restaurant’s drive-through lane.

As caught on the officer’s body camera and a surveillance camera, the encounter seemed friendly at first, as Brooks cooperated with a sobriety test and talked about his daughter’s birthday.

But when an officer moved to arrest him, Brooks struggled with him and another officer at the scene before breaking free and running across the parking lot with what appears to be a police Taser in his hand, a bystander’s video showed.

“I watched the interaction with Mr. Brooks and it broke my heart,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said on CNN. “This was not confrontational. This was a guy that you were rooting for.”

A video from the restaurant’s cameras shows Brooks turning as he runs and possibly aiming the Taser at the pursuing officers before one of them fires his gun and Brooks falls.

Atlanta’s police chief, Erika Shields, resigned over the shooting. The officer suspected of killing Brooks was fired, and the other officer involved in the incident, also white, was put on administrative leave.

Singer Billie Eilish has posted a message on Instagram expressing her anger and frustration over killing of Brooks.

“man F***. watching this video made me so f****** angry. F*** THIS S***. JUSTICE FOR RAYSHARD BROOKS. F*** THIS S**********. #justiceforrayshard !!!! WHY ISNT EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT THIS??” she wrote.

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