Medical examiner: Rayshard Brooks death a homicide

Rayshard Brooks died from “gunshot wounds of the back,” which caused “organ injuries and blood loss,” the Fulton County medical examiner’s office ruled on Sunday. Brooks died on Friday night after being fatally shot by a white police officer during a scuffle in an Atlanta parking lot. The incident was captured on bodycam and dashcam.Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said in a statement on Sunday that he hopes a decision about whether to bring charges against the officers will be announced midweek.Brooks’ death has inflamed protests in the city sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd.Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Rayshard Brooks, a Black man who died on Friday after being fatally shot by a white police officer during a scuffle in an Atlanta parking lot, died from gunshot wounds to the back, the medical examiner ruled on Sunday. The Fulton County medical examiner’s office said in a statement that Brooks’ death has been ruled a homicide, The New York Times reported. According to the statement, the official cause of death was listed as “gunshot wounds of the back,” which caused “organ injuries and blood loss.”Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. said in a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday that members of his staff “had the unfortunate duty of witnessing the autopsy of Mr. Brooks as part of our continued investigation.” “Because this is a homicide investigation, there are several technical requirements that must be met before we are able to reach a decision. That includes the confirmation of the ballistics involved and obtaining a preliminary report from the medical examiner,” his statement said.  

Howard also said that his office is “still experiencing some difficulty in obtaining all of the bodycam and dashcam footage from the Atlanta Police Department” in relation to the investigation. “We are working around the clock to bring this investigation to a conclusion, and it is my hope to be able to announce our decision midweek,” Howard said. On Sunday, L. Chris Stewart, an attorney for the Brooks family, said that the officer responsible for the killing should be charged for “an unjustified use of deadly force, which equals murder,” Associated Press reported.Several outlets obtained bodycam and dashcam footage of the events leading up to Brooks’ death on Friday evening. 

Footage from the incident shows a police officer waking up Brooks, who fell asleep at the wheel of a vehicle at the drive-thru lane of a Wendy’s restaurant. Officers conducted a sobriety test on Brooks, which he failed, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations said, adding that officers tried to place Brooks under arrest, during which a struggle ensued. According to the bureau, witnesses reported that during the struggle, Brooks grabbed a taser from the officer.Video footage of the incident shows officers telling Brooks to “stop fighting.” Three gunshot wounds can be heard, though the actual shooting occurred off-camera. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations said that Brooks was then transported to a hospital, where he died of his injuries. 

Atlanta police chief Erika Shields resigned following the shooting. In a statement, Shields said she resigned “out of a deep and abiding love for this city and this department.”The Wendy’s where the incident took place was burned to the ground on Saturday night. Authorities on Sunday announced a $10,000 reward for information that could help find the arsonists responsible.Garrett Rolfe, one of the officers involved in the shooting, was fired, while officer Devin Brosnan was placed on administrative leave. Brooks’ death has intensified local Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd, who was killed by white police officers in Minneapolis. 

Source link