A photo provided by the Atlanta Police Department, former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe, who was fired …Read More
The Atlanta Police Department said early Sunday that an officer had been fired over the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks, 27, at a Wendy’s restaurant. The officer, Garrett Rolfe, who had worked with the department since 2013, fired his handgun three times while he was chasing Brooks, who authorities said had seized a Taser from an officer and fired it as he ran. Another officer on the scene, Devin Brosnan, who has been with the department for less than two years, was placed on administrative duty.
The New York Times analyzed eyewitness videos and security camera footage of the events to determine what happened in the minutes preceding Brooks’ death. We synchronized the footage to determine precisely when Rolfe fired his gun, and we reviewed other details of the shooting released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
This chronology uses the time-stamp displayed on police body camera and dash camera footage. The security camera footage recorded at Wendy’s is a minute behind.
Here is a detailed breakdown of what happened:
At 10:33pm. Friday, police officers were called to a Wendy’s restaurant at 125 University Ave. in South Atlanta. Brooks had fallen asleep in his vehicle, which was parked in the drive-through, causing other customers to drive around him, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.
10:42pm. Brosnan arrives and wakes Brooks, who is asleep in the driver’s seat of a car. Brosnan instructs him to pull into a parking space.
“Alright, you good? Just pull in somewhere and take a n… Alright, you good?” Brosnan says. Brooks parks in a nearby car space.
Brosnan appears to be unsure whether he should let Brooks sleep in the car or take further action. At 10:49pm., he contacts police dispatch and requests another police officer.
10:56pm. Rolfe arrives and consults with Brosnan. Rolfe questions Brooks, who says he did not drive to Wendy’s but was dropped off. The officers appear to doubt this.
11:03pm. Rolfe checks whether Brooks is armed. He is not.
11:04pm. Rolfe performs a sobriety test on Brooks over the next seven minutes. Brooks is compliant and friendly with the officers throughout this time. He says he is not too drunk to drive.
Rolfe asks Brooks to take a breath test for alcohol. Brooks admits he has been drinking and says, “I don’t want to refuse anything.”
Brooks asks the officers if he can lock his car up under their supervision and walk to his sister’s house, which he says is a short distance away. “I can just go home,” he says.
11:23pm. When the breath test is complete, Rolfe tells Brooks he “has had too much drink to be driving” and begins to handcuff him. Less than a minute later, Brooks is shot.
Police footage and video filmed by another witness shows Brooks grappling with the officers on the ground. Rolfe says, “Stop that. Stop fighting, stop fighting,” and Brosnan shouts, “You’re going to get Tased.”
Brooks says, “Mr. Rolfe, come on man. Mr. Rolfe.” He seizes a Taser from Brosnan, stands up and punches Rolfe. Rolfe fires his Taser gun. The darts hit Brooks, and Rolfe continues trying to stun him.
Brooks runs away, holding Brosnan’s Taser gun. Rolfe gives chase and continues to try to stun Brooks.
The security camera footage filmed at Wendy’s shows Rolfe chasing Brooks. In seconds, Rolfe passes his Taser from his right hand to his left hand and reaches for his handgun.
While being chased, and in full stride, Brooks looks behind him, points the Taser he is holding in Rolfe’s direction and fires it. The flash of the Taser suggests that Brooks did not fire it with any real accuracy.
Rolfe discards the Taser he is carrying, draws his handgun and fires it three times at Brooks as he is running away. Brooks falls to the ground.
11:23pm. For the next minute, Rolfe and Brosnan stand over Brooks, who is injured but moving on the ground, and occasionally reach down to him. Brosnan appears to use his radio. Neither officer appears to provide medical assistance to Brooks. Another police car arrives at the scene.
11:24pm. Another video shows Rolfe running back to his SUV and calling for help over his radio. Bystanders denounce the shooting to a third police officer who is at the scene.
11:25pm. Rolfe and Brosnan begin to provide medical treatment. Rolfe appears to unroll a bandage and place it on Brooks’ torso.
11:30pm. An ambulance arrives. Eight minutes later, Brooks is taken to a hospital, where he dies after surgery.