Normally, a DA would present it to a grand jury, and remind them that a police officer is not a ham sandwich, and the would no-bill.
Not this time, which shows that something has moved in the political ecology of law enforcement:
The former Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks was charged Wednesday with felony murder and 10 other offenses in his death, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said.And here we have the politics coming in. Howard came in a fairly distant second place in the Democratic primary, and his speed in filing charges is (for now at least) a political winner for him.
At an afternoon news conference, DA Paul Howard announced the charges against Garrett Rolfe, who shot Brooks twice during a suspected DUI arrest at an Atlanta Wendy’s on Friday night. Rolfe was fired the next day, shortly before Chief Erika Shields stepped down from her post.
A second officer present during the incident, Devin Brosnan, will face four charges, including a count of aggravated assault and three counts of violation of oath, the warrants said.
Howard, who faces a runoff election in August, cited that his office has reviewed eight videos, including three cellphone videos. Due to the amount of video evidence, Howard said he did not need to wait on the GBI to complete its investigation.
I cannot remember there ever being a time when a willingness to prosecute police for excessive force was a political winner, but it is now.