Tomika Miller was beyond outraged after getting the news she’s been dreading since the police killing of her husband Rayshard Brooks case against Atlanta police officers who in a Wendy’s parking lot in Atlanta last summer. Miller learned via media reports that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s office will turn over the case to Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr rather than try the murder case against Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe for allegedly killing Brooks, 27, as he attempted to flee the police.
“When I received this message on the media, I fell to my knees and I cried,” Miller said Thursday at a press conference.
Willis explained that her predecessor, former District Attorney Paul Howard brought charges against Rolfe and fellow officer Devin Brosnan at the height of civil unrest sparked by Brooks’ killing along with several other high-profile police involved killings, including the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.
“My predecessor obtained arrest warrants against the following defendants for incidents that occurred during the campaign,” Willis wrote last week in a letter to Carr that was obtained by the AJC. “I believe his conduct, including using video evidence in campaign television advertisements, may have violated Georgia Bar Rule 3.8(g).”
Rolfe and Brosnan encountered Brooks asleep in a Wendy’s restaurant on the night of July 10, 2020 at University Ave. and Pryor Rd. When they aroused the sleeping, but affable Brooks, they suspected that he may have been drinking and proceeded to place him under arrest. Brooks attempted to evade police and grabbed an inactive taser while running from the two officers. Rolfe maintains that he killed Brooks in self-defense, even though bystander video shows the officers collecting bullet casings before calling for help or rendering assistance to the dying man.
In the aftermath of active protests and massive marches the Wendy’s was burned to the ground and the site became ground central for rallies and protest organizers.
“The city was in an uproar and we had just witnessed George Floyd, and we had been protesting for about 13 days when Atlanta became Ground Zero for the social justice revolution,” said Atlanta NAACP President Gerald Griggs.
Griggs and Brooks’ wife were joined by protesters of The People’s Uprising, including Georgia State Rep. Erica Thomas, and Atlanta City Council member Antonio Brown, in expressing their disappointment at Willis and asking another prosecutor to take the case from the state.