Rayshard Brooks: What happened before police shot him dead?

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Rayshard Brooks, 27, the father of three daughters and a stepson, was killed on 12 JuneImage copyright
Reuters

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Rayshard Brooks, 27, the father of three daughters and a stepson, was killed on 12 June

Another death of an African-American man during an arrest has brought the use of deadly force by police into sharp focus once again in the US.

Rayshard Brooks, 27, was shot dead as he fled officers in a restaurant car park in Atlanta on Friday.

Atlanta’s police chief resigned and one of the officers involved was fired.

The shooting provoked another wave of anti-racism protests.

Investigators say Mr Brooks was shot after he seized a Taser from an officer and pointed it in his direction as he fled from the scene.

But the mayor of Atlanta and other politicians have said the use of lethal force by police was not justified in this case.

The events that led to Mr Brooks’s shooting have been caught on camera by police, eyewitnesses and Wendy’s, the restaurant nearby.

Here is a step-by-step timeline of what those videos show.

The drive through

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said officers were called out to a Wendy’s drive-through restaurant in South Atlanta at approximately 22:33 local time on 12 June.

Mr Brooks had fallen asleep in his car, which was blocking customers from accessing the drive-through, the bureau said.

Devin Brosnan was the first officer on the scene. The timestamp of his bodycam indicates he arrived at 22:41.

In the footage, Mr Brosnan approaches Mr Brooks’s car and knocks on the window multiple times before opening the door.

“Hey man, you’re parked in the middle of the drive-through line here,” Mr Brosnan says.

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Atlanta Police

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Mr Brooks appears to be asleep when the officer opens the car door

Mr Brooks, motionless, does not appear to respond at first but eventually wakes up. When he does, Mr Brosnan tells Mr Brooks to pull over in a parking spot.

With both cars parked, Mr Brosnan asks Mr Brooks how much he has had to drink.

Not much, about one drink, Mr Brooks replies.

Mr Brosnan checks his licence and, few minutes later, uses his radio to request back up from another officer. Officer Garrett Rolfe arrives at 22:56.

Mr Rolfe interrogates Mr Brooks, asking him what had happened that night. Mr Brooks says he was dropped off by a friend in another car, but Mr Rolfe seems unconvinced by his statement.

At that point, the officers check whether Mr Books is armed and ask him to undertake a sobriety test.

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Reuters

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Mr Rolfe conducted a sobriety test on Mr Brooks in the car park

During the test, which starts just after 23:00 and lasts about seven minutes, Mr Brooks appears relaxed and compliant.

As part of the test, Mr Brooks is asked to use a breathalyser. As they await results, Mr Brooks says he had been drinking at his daughter’s birthday.

“I think you’ve had too much to drink to be driving,” Mr Rolfe tells Mr Brooks when the breath test is complete. “Put your hands behind your back.”

The arrest

As Mr Rolfe attempts to handcuff Mr Brooks, a struggle ensues. At 23:23, the body cameras worn by Mr Brosnan and Mr Rolfe fall to the floor.

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Atlanta Police

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Mr Rolfe searched Mr Brooks for weapons, but did not find anything

A dashcam from one of the officer’s vehicles and several bystanders document what happens next.

The officers wrestle Mr Brooks to the floor, shouting “stop fighting” and “hands off the Taser”.

“You’re going to get Tased,” says one officer.

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Atlanta Police

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The two officers grapple with Mr Brooks on the ground

Piled on top of the officers, Mr Brooks manages to wriggle free from the melee, grabbing Mr Brosnan’s Taser in the process.

Then, Mr Brooks turns and runs, clutching the Taser in one hand.

The shooting

Footage from a CCTV camera at Wendy’s is the only known video of the fatal pursuit that came next.

During the chase, Mr Rolfe switches the Taser from his right hand to his left, as he reaches for his handgun.

Meanwhile, Mr Brooks is seen turning around and pointing the Taser at Mr Rolfe.

Mr Rolfe draws his gun, drops his Taser and shoots. Three shots are heard at the same time on the video captured by the dashcam.

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Media captionThe Wendy’s drive-through restaurant was set on fire over Mr Brooks’ shooting

In the CCTV footage, that’s when Mr Brooks slumps to the floor.

Mr Brooks remains on the ground for the rest of the video, as the officers stand over the body. It is not clear if they tried to provide medical assistance from the video.

An ambulance arrived a few minutes later. Mr Brooks was taken to hospital, but later died after surgery.

Image copyright
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation

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CCTV footage shows Mr Rolfe and Mr Brooks running, both holding Tasers

As Mr Brooks told Mr Brosnan, he had been celebrating his daughter’s birthday that night.

Mr Brooks had planned to take his eight-year-old daughter skating for her birthday, his lawyer said.

“She had her birthday dress on. She was waiting for her dad to come pick her up and take her skating,” Chris Stewart, a lawyer for Mr Brooks’s family, said on Saturday.

But Mr Brooks, a father of three daughters – ages one, two and eight, and a 13-year-old stepson, did not live to see that birthday.

When Mr Brooks did not show up, his children were “oblivious” to what had happened the night before, the lawyer said.

More on anti-racism protests:

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Media captionThe USA’s history of racial inequality has paved the way for modern day police brutality

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