Footage of moments before fatal shooting raises questions for police

Police in the US have released bodycam and dashcam footage of the moments leading up to fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks.

The 27-year-old father was shot in the car park of a Wendy’s in Atlanta on Friday night, and he later died in hospital.

His name has now become the latest hashtag in the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Rayshard Brooks was shot by police in Atlanta. Pic: Facebook
Image:Rayshard Brooks was shot by police in Atlanta. Pic: Facebook

There are three angles from the police footage – Officer Garrett Rolfe’s camera, Officer Devin Brosnan’s camera and the dashcam.

Police had been called to a drive-thru restaurant to reports of a man asleep in his car.

They found Mr Brooks at the wheel in the car park. His door was open.

They talked for several minutes and searched him. He was compliant throughout.

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The moment police approached Rayshard Brooks

They then asked him to take part in a “field sobriety test”. Again, he complied.

After more discussion, he agreed to a breathalyser test, as seen in the next clip.

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Officers perform breathalyser test on Brooks

Mr Brooks failed the breath test.

Officer Garrett Rolfe then attempts to handcuff Mr Brooks. His bodycam picks up the moment.

Atlanta police officer sacked after black man shot dead outside Wendy's restaurant

Atlanta police officer sacked after black man shot dead outside Wendy’s restaurant

“Alright, I think you’ve had too much to drink to be driving, so put your hands behind your back for me. Put your hands behind your back,” he says.

Mr Brooks resists.

In the scuffle, the bodycam falls to the floor.

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Brooks arrest captured on bodycam

The footage below shows the same moment from Officer Devin Brosnan’s camera. His camera too eventually ends up on the floor.

Second bodycam angle of Brooks arrest

This next clip shows the same moment again, but from the dashcam. You can see that Mr Brooks tries to break free.

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Dashcam footage shows Brooks arrest

The three wrestle and Mr Brooks takes one of the officer’s Taser stun guns. The other officer then fires his Taser. Mr Brooks runs off with one of the tasers.

This footage, from a nearby security camera, shows the seconds which were not caught on the police cameras of the moment Mr Brooks was fatally shot.

Here, the different camera angles have been put into one sequence.

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Split screen shows moments before killing

It again raises these questions for the police:

  • Did the officer need to shoot?
  • Did the officer act reasonably?
  • Were there reasonable alternatives?
  • Tasers are non-lethal, so officers weren’t in mortal danger themselves?

    Officer Garrett Rolfe fired the fatal rounds. Hired by Atlanta police force in October 2013, he’s now been fired.

    Officer Devin Brosnan has been placed on administrative duty. He has been with Atlanta police since September 2018.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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