As prosecutors weigh criminal charges against the police officer who killed Rayshard Brooks, his widow calls what happened to him “murder.” Tomika Miller told CBS News, “that was not justified. Because he was shot and he wasn’t armed. He wasn’t dangerous.”
Brooks was killed Friday night after police responded to a call that someone was sleeping in their car in a Wendy’s drive-thru in Atlanta, Georgia. Bodycam video shows one officer talking to Brooks and asking him to move his car. Brooks cooperated. Then minutes later a second officer, Garrett Rolfe, arrived and asked the 27-year-old if he would submit to a sobriety test. Brooks willingly complied. When Rolfe said he failed the test and proceeded to place him under arrest, things quickly escalated. After a struggle, Brooks grabbed one of the officer’s tasers and tried to run away. As he was being chased Brooks turned at one point and allegedly fired the taser in the officers’ direction before turning back to run. Rolfe then shot him, reportedly firing his gun three times. A medical examiner’s report found that Brooks’s death was a homicide saying he died from two gunshot wounds to the back.
The Fulton County District Attorney, Paul Howard, says possible charges could include murder, felony murder or involuntary manslaughter. He expects to have a decision as early as Wednesday. Howard told CNN:
“Specifically, the question is if Officer Rolfe, whether or not he felt that Mr. Brooks, at the time, presented imminent harm of death or some serious physical injury. Or the alternative is whether or not he fired the shot simply to capture him or some other reason. If that shot was fired for some reason other than to save that officer’s life or to prevent injury to him or others, then that shooting is not justified under the law.”
He adds, “Brooks did not seem to present any kind of threat to anyone, and so the fact that it would escalate to his death just seems unreasonable… It just seems like this is not the kind of conversation and incident that should have led to someone’s death.”
For more on the reaction from Brook’s widow, watch above.