Atlanta, Georgia – Well, there has been an interesting twist with regard to the case involving the death of Rayshard Brooks.
That twist happens to be that prior to Brooks being pronounced dead, he was about to be criminally charged with 10 criminal counts (with some being felonies) based upon his actions on June 12th that led to him being shot.
This revelation comes from not just anyone, but from a report drafted on June 21st by one of the very investigators tasked with looking into the events between the officers present during Brooks’ shooting.
READ IT: #AtlantaPD detective assigned to the #RayshardBrooks investigation says he would have charged Brooks – not Rolfe – with 10 counts, including multiple felonies. Usually law enforcement are witnesses for the state but this is from a defense filing. pic.twitter.com/huj903b7Tu
— Philip Holloway ⚖️✈️ (@PhilHollowayEsq) June 29, 2020
The report was written by Detective Al Hogan from Atlanta Police’s Homicide Unit and Major Incident Team, which the MIT specifically looks into officer involved shootings within the APD.
According to the report delivered by Hogan, he detailed his level of experience within the APD and also his relevancy associated with the preliminary stages of the Brooks investigation:
“I am the Homicide/MIT investigator that was assigned the case involving Officers Rolfe and Brosnan regarding their interaction with [Rayshard] Brooks. I was called in from my home shortly after the incident occurred and began my investigation upon my arrival at the scene.”
Detective Hogan stated that he’d obtained all the video and audio evidence from the interaction, as well as spoke with witnesses that were available at the time while the scene was active.
At the time of gathering said evidence, Detective Hogan noted that Brooks was still alive:
“After leaving the scene on the night of the incident, I was informed by [Rayshard] Brooks was alive but critical at Grady hospital, and I returned to the Homicide office to review all the evidence that I had gathered to determine if [Rayshard] Brooks’s behavior warranted any criminal charges.”
Well, turns out that after Detective Hogan reviewed the evidence, he was getting ready to get some charges in order – until it was revealed that Brooks had passed away:
“My investigation showed that [Rayshard] Brooks’s behavior did in fact warrant several criminal charges, but before I was able to pursue the charges I was informed that [Rayshard] brooks had died, negating the necessity for that portion of my investigation.”
Atlanta Detective: I Would Have Sought 10 Charges Against Rayshard Brooks for Behavior in Deadly Altercation https://t.co/tdSNAeBcJ5
— David, Ph.D. (@americanshomer) July 3, 2020
It would be rather superfluous to administer charges to someone deceased, as noted by Detective Hogan.
However, given the current circumstances and case against former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolf that includes felony murder, the detective provided the list of criminal charges that he intended to recommend be brought forth had Brooks still been alive.
The charges, as cited by statute and description by the detective, are as follows:
- DUI/DUI Less Safe, a violation of OCGA 50-6-391
- Felony Obstruction, Two Counts, a violation of OCGA 16-10-24
- Aggravated Assault against a Police Officer, Two Counts, a violation of OCGA 16-5-21
- Battery against a Police Officer, Two Counts, a violation of OCGA 16-5-23.1
- Theft by Taking, a violation of OCGA 16-8-2
- Removal of Weapon from a Public Official, a violation of 16-10-33
- Robbery, a violation of 16-8-40.1
Now, it’s important to note charges of “aggravated assault”, “battery”, and “robbery by taking” were listed among the charges being recommended against Brooks.
The reason why, is because Georgia law would reasonably permit even citizens from using deadly force against actions similar to that of Brooks’ on the evening of June 12th.
According to law firm Pate, Johnson & Church, any resident of Georgia can utilize deadly force against an assailant for the following reason:
“Georgia provides that a person may use deadly force if he believes that it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or a third person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”
The key takeaway from that outlined justification is a “forcible felony”. That’s not some buzzword, but an actual reference to Georgia law, specifically § 16-11-131(e), which states the following:
“As used in this Code section, the term “forcible felony” means any felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any person and further includes, without limitation…burglary in any degree; robbery; armed robbery…”
Georgia law allows for lethal self defense if you "reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to you, or to another, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."
Not just PD but everyone.
— Young Thomas (@BaltTigger) June 18, 2020
So, in the charges that were meant to be recommended against Brooks, there was “the use or threat of physical force or violence” as noted by the aggravated assault & battery charges and then the robbery charge.
Meaning, this appears to be a textbook case of a “forcible felony”, which affords everyday citizens in Georgia the right to employ deadly force.
It will be interesting to see if the aforementioned circumstances are considered as this case against former Officer Rolf develops.