Prosecutors trying to convict Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe for murder in the shooting death of Rashard Brooks should attempt to convince jurors to do something that they rarely do – moment suspect split-second police conclusions.
On Wednesday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard attracted 11 charges against Rolfe, together with the most severe being felony murder that carries the death penalty.
Atlanta’s mayor stopped Rolfe following Friday’s shooting. Protests broke out in town as the shooting popular outrage that followed the May 25 passing of another unarmed black man, George Floyd, within an officer knelt on his throat during his arrest from Minnesota.
Video of the shooting which went viral will help the prosecution, also Howard noted that the US, Rolfe’s spouse, consented to become the infrequent police officer that will testify against a colleague.
Prosecutors will highlight the officer captured Brooks from the back as he fled, and insist that the defendant posed no danger.
“Look at the law.
Georgia lets use of lethal force to apprehend a defendant when officers have probable cause to believe the defendant committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of severe injury, which Gaynor stated Brooks had completed.
Howard, the district attorney, said Brooks posed no danger as he had been fleeing because he had discharged the accessible shots in the stun weapon. Gaynor disagreed.
“It is still a weapon, but not a mortal weapon but it’s a weapon. The public remains in jeopardy at the point,” said Gaynor.
Rolfe’s defense lawyer could also assert he followed authorities training protocols. Jack Ryan, that trains law enforcement nationally, said some police departments instruct officers to look at using lethal force if a defendant has gained control of an officer stun gun. But that’s less of a danger when there are numerous officers present.
Even the Atlanta police department didn’t respond to a request for comment regarding its instruction.
In the end, like most instances against authorities, legal specialists said it might come down to if a jury is prepared to defer to an officer’s version of events.
Jonathan Rapping, president of the public defender category Gideon’s Promise at Atlanta, said white jurors in these situations frequently tend to exaggerate risks posed by minority suspects.
“We are reluctant to second-guess authorities,” explained Rapping, who’s a professor at John Marshall Law School.
Because of this, having testimony from Rolfe’s spouse Brosnan could be crucial for prosecutors.
Sam Starks, an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer, stated obtaining the collaboration of another officer was a surprise and”makes it tougher to Rolfe.”