Fired Officer Who Shot Rayshard Brooks Dead Begged the Father-of-Four to Stay Alive as He Desperately Administered CPR
Laura Collins, Daily Mail, June 17, 2020
The police officer who shot dead Rayshard Brooks begged the father-of-four to live as he desperately administered CPR to the dying man, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Former officer Garrett Rolfe, 27, shot Brooks twice in the back on Friday June 12 when a peaceable call-out suddenly escalated into unspeakable violence.
Rolfe’s bodycam came off during the violent altercation that erupted when he tried to cuff Brooks telling him he’d had too much to drink to be driving.
But the camera never stopped recording, as it was picked up and carried around by other officers called out to investigate the shooting before eventually being returned to its owner.
Now, DailyMail.com can reveal what happened in the moments after the shooting when Rolfe and fellow officer Devin Brosnan, 26, desperately fought to save Brooks’ life.
Amid angry shouts and accusations from by-standers Rolfe can be clearly heard pleading, ‘Mr. Brooks keep breathing. Keep breathing for me.’
The jerky bodycam footage captures him kneeling on the ground and administering CPR to the bleeding man while Brosnan looks on.
Rolfe administered CPR until the ambulance arrived and can be heard repeatedly calling Mr. Brooks’ name as he tried to keep him alive.
DailyMail.com has also learned that Rolfe has since told friends that he didn’t want to pull the trigger but did so because he feared that he he ‘went down’ Brooks might kill him.
Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com one close to Rolfe said, ‘Garret didn’t want to do it. He had been punched and was dazed. Brooks had gone to tase him and he said that he knew that if he went down Brooks might kill him.’
Rolfe was injured from a punch landed by Brooks during the scuffle that broke out when Rolfe tried to cuff him. The former officer was briefly felled and did not know where his fellow officer Devin Brosnan, 26, was in that moment.
The source said, ‘He told me he fired a shot up above his (Brooks’s) head but he didn’t stop and so he fired twice more. He didn’t want to do it. There’s no hate in Garrett’s body. He doesn’t hate black. He doesn’t hate white. In that moment he was in fear for his life.’
Rolfe was the second officer to arrive at the call out to the Wendy’s on University Avenue, Atlanta Friday night.
He arrived ten minutes after Officer Devin Brosnan, 26, who was first to respond to the fateful 911 call that reported that Brooks was blocking the drive-thru lane after drunkenly falling asleep at the wheel of his car.
DailyMail.com revealed just how close Brosnan came to letting the whole incident slide.
His bodycam recorded how he woke Brooks and asked him to pull into a parking space only to have to do so again when Brooks immediately fell back asleep.
Brosnan then watched as Brooks ploughed over the curb of the space into which he was directed to pull. Returning to his patrol car Brosnan pondered, ‘Do I want to deal with this guy right now?’ before deciding he should check on Brooks having clearly smelt alcohol on his breath.
The interaction that followed prompted Brosnan to call in a possible DUI and request another officer. Rolfe arrived around 10.56pm.
At 11.22pm, after giving a muddled though polite account of his evening and drinking and failing field sobriety tests, Brooks blew 0.108 on the breathalyzer (0.008 is considered too drunk to drive).
He told the officers that he had been out celebrating his daughter’s eighth birthday earlier that day. Brooks had four children – three daughters ages one, two and eight and a 13-year-old stepson.
Rolfe informed Brooks, ‘I think you’ve had too much to drink,’ and moved to cuff him when Brooks tried to make a break for it.
DailyMail.com has learned that Brooks was on probation and faced going back to prison if he was charged with a DUI.
It was the fear of incarceration that likely caused Brooks to panic in the face of imminent arrest and caused him to run.
Brooks punched one of the officers, stole Brosnan’s taser and made a run for it.
He turned to shoot the stun gun at Rolfe who pursued, ditching his own taser and unholstering his gun in that instant.
The entire altercation, from its start to its end when three shots can be heard ringing out, lasted less than one minute.
Brooks received surgery but died in the early hours of June 13 due to organ failure and blood loss caused by the two bullets that struck him in the back.
While medics worked on Brooks, Rolfe’s bodycam continued to run recording the scenes in the Wendy’s parking lot as Rolfe called to report an officer involved shooting and request a union representative.
At one point he asked a passing officer, ‘Do I have blood on my elbow?’ Searching out disinfectant wipes he said, ‘I don’t know if it’s his or mine.’
The shooting has been ruled a homicide and Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard has said he expects to bring charges midweek. According to Howard it would be difficult for Rolfe to argue self-defense based on the evidence he has seen.
He has said that the three charges which are ‘relevant,’ in this case are murder, felony murder and a third, less likely, charge of aggravated assault.
Howard has said, ‘I believe in this instance, what we have to choose between – if there’s a choice to be made – is between murder and felony murder.’
The charges to which Brooks pleaded guilty and for which he was still on probation dated back to August 2014 when he was convicted on four counts – False Imprisonment, Simple Battery/Family, Battery Simple and Felony Cruelty/Cruelty to Children.
He was tried in Clayton County and sentenced to seven years on the first count, with one year in prison and six on probation and 12 months for each of the other three counts, sentences to be served concurrently.
His sentence was revised, and he was sent back to prison for 12 months in July 2016 when he violated the terms of his probation.
Brooks had not been in trouble since that year until last December when he went to Ohio without informing his probation officer and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
That warrant was revoked and the case dismissed when he returned to Georgia on January 6.
Rolfe was fired immediately after the shooting and Brosnan has been placed on administrative duty pending an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.
Atlanta Police Department have released both officers’ disciplinary records which showed that Rolfe had twelve reports made against him including five vehicle accidents, four citizens’ complaints, one use of force and one firearms discharge in addition to the Brooks incident.
He was exonerated on all three of the citizens’ complaints and three of the vehicle accidents but received a written reprimand for his use of force and one vehicle incident as well as an oral reprimand for another.
No action was taken in any others.
Records show that he had recently trained in de-escalation tactics, had passed a course entitled, ‘Use of Deadly Force,’ in January and done coursework in cultural awareness in April. Rolfe had also completed multiple courses in tactical team operations and firearms training.