The city of Atlanta agreed Monday to pay $1 million to the family of Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer in a 2020 incident that deepened nationwide unrest in the wake of of the death of George Floyd. .
Atlanta’s city council voted 15-0 to approve the settlement nearly three months after prosecutors determined in August that the officers involved in Brooks’ death on June 12, 2020 had “committed no crime” and that the use of deadly force was “reasonable.”
“This grieving family has been through a lot during this process. Although Mr. Brooks’ children have lost their father, resolving the case will certainly help them with future plans as they come of age,” attorneys representing the Brooks family said in a statement, according to the Brooks affiliate. NBC. WXIA, based in Atlanta. The family’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.
Brooks was fatally shot by an officer amid national unrest over police brutality after a Minneapolis police officer murdered George Floyd.
Police responded to a report that a man had fallen asleep in his vehicle in the drive-thru of a Wendy’s fast food restaurant in the 2020 incident. Two officers located Brooks and body camera footage showed they had a quiet conversation with him for almost 40 minutes. However, when they administered a field sobriety test and attempted to stop Brooks, a struggle ensued.
In the footage, Brooks could be seen holding a stun gun that he had taken from an officer as he fled. He appeared to turn and point the gun before an officer, Garrett Rolfe, fired at him, striking Brooks in the back, according to investigators.
In August, when prosecutors determined that the officers involved in Brooks’ death had not committed any crimes, Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Georgia Council of Prosecutors, said the circumstances in Brooks’ case were different from the police killing of Floyd. in Minneapolis and the fatal shooting of another black man in Georgia, Ahmaud Arbery.
“Black lives do matter. I spent my entire career representing black victims of crime,” Skandalakis said at a press conference at the time. “I understand that encounters between the police and the African American community are sometimes very volatile, but I will ask you to look at the facts of the case.”
Skandalakis’s decision appeared to be in stark contrast to what then-Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard found after Brooks’ death, quickly leading to charges being filed against the officers involved. However, Howard was removed from his position and his successor, citing conflicts of interest, had the transferred case to the Georgia Attorney General’s Office in early 2021.
Rolfe, a six-year veteran of his department, was initially fired and faced 11 charges, including felony murder. The Atlanta Civil Service Board reinstated him last year, saying his due process rights had been violated. The second officer, Devin Brosnan, was placed on administrative leave and was facing three charges, including aggravated assault.
“While we are disappointed that prosecutors did not pursue a criminal case against the officers involved in the death of Mr. Brooks, we remain hopeful that the Department of Justice will intervene in this matter,” Brooks’ family attorneys said in Monday, according to WXIA.
erik ortiz contributed.