protester holds a placard in front of a row of Army National Guard during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd in Hollywood, California on June 2, 2020

Atlanta Police Officer who shot black man has been charged with murder

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An Atlanta police officer has been charged with murder for shooting a 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks in the back, justice officials announced Wednesday.

Atlanta District Attorney Paul Howard said police officer Garrett Rolfe had no justification for shooting Rayshard Brooks as Brooks fled, and aggravated the case by kicking Brooks’ body as he lay on the ground bleeding.

He also said that Rolfe and fellow officer Devin Brosnan violated multiple police department regulations after they detained Brooks when he was found sleeping in his car in the drive-up line at a local Wendy’s fast food restaurant on June 12.

“We concluded that, at the time that Mr Brooks was shot, he did not pose an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury to the officers,” Howard said.

 Police reforms 

The charges were announced as Republicans in the US Senate unveiled police reform legislation that focused on better training and disclosure of officers’ use of force, but did not weaken legal protections that insulate them from charges of abuse.

Their proposals, in response to the mass civil unrest over police repeatedly killing black people, were in line an executive order signed by President Donald Trump one day earlier to improve policing — but weaker than reforms offered last week by Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Civil liberties group ACLU said the Republican proposal “does not respond to the moment.”

Americans “need bold, visionary legislation that divests from police and shrinks their footprint, and reinvests in the Black and Brown communities that have been harmed by status quo policing,” the ACLU said.


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