(Left to right) Rolfe Garrett and Devin Brosnan, former police officers accused of the Rayshard Brooks, have shot dead
Two Atlanta police officers accused of Rayshard Brooks' fatal execution have hired a lawyer to question the story of Fulton's District Attorney Paul Howard when the prosecution was released.
The experienced criminal defense lawyer Don Samuel and his partner Amanda Clark Palmer represent Devin Brosnan, the official who first saw Brooks sleeping in his car in a Wendy thoroughfare in South Atlanta.
Garrett Rolfe, who fired the deadly shots that Brooks shot in the back when he ran away with Brosnan's Taser from the two officers, has kept Atlanta attorney Lance LoRusso, a civil litigation attorney who has more than 80 police officers on duty Gunfights and representations have represented deaths in custody. Noah Pines, a former prosecutor from DeKalb County, and W.H. "Bill" Thomas, a former federal prosecutor and deputy prosecutor from Los Angeles County, joined the Rolfe defense team on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Howard accused Rolfe of murder and multiple physical injuries, oath-taking and first-degree criminal damage. Rolfe was also accused of failing to provide medical care after the Brooks execution. Howard accused Brosnan of the serious attack, violated his oath of office and failed to provide medical assistance.
The Atlanta police released Rolfe within 24 hours of Brook's death. Brosnan has been added to the administration service and is free of charge for a $ 50,000 signature bond. Rolfe is held without a bond.
Howard went swiftly to file several crimes against the two officials, as excessive violence, particularly against black men, has become the driving force behind mass protests across the country. The demonstrations were triggered by the death of George Floyd on May 25 by the Minneapolis police when people around him begged for his life. Brooks’s death came after Howard earlier this month charged six police officers in Atlanta with multiple crimes when two college students were involved in a downtown demonstration.
The two officials' lawyers contested several statements Howard made when the charges were announced. "I have never seen a prosecutor act so unethically in my career, regardless of his professional duties in re-election," Pines said in a press release.
Howard is aiming for his seventh term as a prosecutor, but will have to deal with Fani Willis, his former executive assistant.
Pines accused Howard of violating ethical rules that prevent him from "making extrajudicial comments that are likely to increase the public conviction of the accused". Pines also accused Howard of acting hastily by announcing charges before the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had completed his investigation. The GBI issued a press release Thursday, in which Howard did not alert her before submitting charges.
Pines claimed that Rolfe's actions were justified.
Brooks' sudden decision to fight the two officers when Rolfe started handcuffing him "was a crime," said Pines. He also said Brooks slapped Rolfe in the face, took Brosnan's taser and scolded him, and then fled. As he ran, Pines said, Rolfe "heard a sound like a shot and saw a flash of lightning ahead of him, so he did what any officer would do in this situation. He dropped his taser, pulled his gun, and fired at Mr. Brooks. «
Samuel said Howard's decision to charge Brosnan with several crimes surprised him and Palmer. Brosnan suffered a concussion during close combat, said Samuel.
Samuel said Brosnan gave senior assistant DA Clint Rucker a three-hour interview before he was charged. And he characterized Brosnan's behavior before Rolfe & # 39; s arrival at Wendy as "exemplary".
"He was considerate. He was compassionate, ”said Samuel. Realizing that Brooks was probably drunk and radioing for a DUI officer, Rolfe, whom he didn't know, showed up and took command. Samuel said that when Rolfe decided to handcuff Brooks, he did so without signaling Brosnan, who was overwhelmed in the subsequent fight.
When Brooks ran and chased Rolfe, Brosnan was still on the sidewalk. When Brosnan heard the gunshots, he was initially unsure who fired them and feared they were from a crowd that had gathered, the lawyer said.
Samuel said Howard's claim that Brosnan was standing on Brooks' shoulders after his shot was incorrect. He said that Brosnan, still dazed from the blow to the head, put his foot briefly on Brook's upper arm. "He didn't attack him," he said. "He didn't kick him. He tried to make sure that he couldn't use that arm to grab a gun. "
Samuel said that Rucker repeatedly asked him before and after filing charges against Brosnan whether Rolfe had used excessive force. Samuel told the prosecutor: "Devin is unable to provide a meaningful opinion. … How often do you ask people with a concussion: "What is your opinion of what happened when you didn't see it?" he said.
Samuel said while Brosnan initially worked with the prosecutor and was supposed to give the GBI an interview, "he did not agree to a plea deal."
He said Howard "was either misinformed or misunderstood the situation" when he announced that Brosnan agreed to be a cooperating witness to the indictment. "I don't think he was malicious," said Samuel. "He just wasn't accurate. Now my client is either accused of being a snitch or changing his story. All my husband ever did was tell the truth about everything."
"He will never admit guilt, never," said Samuel. "Not when I'm on the podium."