Late Friday evening, June 12, 2020, Atlanta police were called to a Wendy’s restaurant, where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was passed out sleeping in his car, blocking the drive-through. Police gave him a sobriety test, which he failed, and talked with him cordially for over half an hour, while he cooperated and consented to a weapons search of his car, which came up clean. Brooks suggested he be allowed to walk the few blocks to his sister’s home, but the officers decided to arrest him for DUI.
At this point Brooks resisted, broke free of the officers as they attempted to cuff him, was tackled, struggled and grabbed an officer’s taser before breaking free once again and drunkenly lumbering across the parking lot. At one point he turned and shot the taser wildly in the officers’ general direction, continuing to run away; Officer Garrett Rolfe shot him twice in the back, killing him. As Brooks lay prone on the ground, struggling for his life, Rolfe approached and kicked him, asserting, “I got him!”, while his partner stood on Brooks’ shoulder; he then waited more than two minutes before offering medical assistance.