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Rayshard Brooks' death | Who are the officers in the case?

Garrett Rolfe shot and killed Brooks in June 2020, while Devin Brosnan was the other officer on scene.

ATLANTA — More than two years after the police shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, a special prosecutor has determined it was "reasonable" to use deadly force in the case.

Special prosecutor Pete Skandalakis said Tuesday the officers "acted within the scope of their duties" when they began to arrest Brooks at the Wendy's on suspicion of DUI and had "no idea" a struggle would occur and result in the shooting of Brooks.

Garrett Rolfe shot and killed Brooks after he grabbed his Taser, began running from him and discharged back toward the officer. Devin Brosnan was the other officer on scene.

RELATED: Police officers involved in Rayshard Brooks shooting death sue City of Atlanta

The two spent more than half an hour talking to Brooks outside his car in the Wendy's parking lot where he'd fallen asleep behind the wheel in the drive-thru, before initiating an arrest and setting in course the rapid unfolding of events that ended with Brooks dead.

Credit: Atlanta Police Department
Officer Garrett Rolfe, left, and Officer Devin Brosnan

Here's what we know about them:

Garrett Rolfe

Rolfe was originally fired two days after Brooks' death and later charged with murder.

About a year after the incident, an Atlanta city board reinstated him to APD, ruling that city officials had not properly followed procedures with his termination.

11Alive investigators found Rolfe was months away from becoming a 6-year veteran on the force, with more than 2,000 hours of training and just gone through a course to learn de-escalation tactics.

He also received an award for making more than 50 DUI arrests the year before Brooks' death.

At Rolfe's reinstatement hearing, APD Assistant Chief Todd Coyt testified to the shooting of Brooks and said he would have done one thing differently from Rolfe in the incident.

He said he would have tried to keep Brooks closer to his car "to use the car as some type of barrier where I could have pushed him into the car instead of being in a wide-open parking lot" if he ran.

"I believe the officers acted accordingly," otherwise, Coyt said. "The officers were trying to show compassion, they were not overly aggressive, they tried to do everything they could to calm the situation down, so I don't think it's anything other than that, that I would have done initially when it started."

11Alive investigators found following the shooting in 2020 that prior to Brooks' death, Rolfe and other officers had just been cleared after being accused of covering up a 2015 incident in which they failed to mention in their incident reports that they had fired multiple shots into a stolen truck and hit the driver.

11Alive's investigative team additionally found Rolfe had been investigated 11 times prior to shooting Brooks across almost seven years by APD's Office of Professional Standards.

In October 2017, APD issued a written reprimand to Rolfe after internal affairs "sustained" an allegation of improper use of force involving a firearm.  

Credit: Family photos
Rayshard Brooks family photos

Devin Brosnan

Brosnan faced four charges, including aggravated assault, with former Fulton DA Paul Howard accusing him of kicking and standing on Brooks as he was dying.

He adamantly denied those accusations and said after the incident that Brooks' death was a "total tragedy."

He said during his initial encounter with Brooks, he felt that Brooks was friendly and respectful.

"I was respectful to him and I thought he seemed like someone who potentially needed my help, and I was really just there to see what I could do for him, make sure he was just safe," Brosnan added.

Our investigative team found he joined APD in 2018 and had fewer than two years on job at the time of the shooting.

He'd completed use-of-force and de-escalation training about three weeks before Brooks' death.

Together, Rolfe and Brosnan sued the City of Atlanta in June, accusing the city and city officials of violating their’ constitutional rights after the shooting.

The suit said they “used the least amount of force possible in their attempts to arrest Brooks,” and followed city policies.

They claim they were targeted by city officials simply for political reasons, such as to try to prevent demonstrations and riots. 


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