Former police officer Garrett Rolfe, who fatally shot fleeing Afro-American Rayshard Brooks in the back last week in Atlanta, Georgia, will be charged with murder and assault, officials say.
Garrett Rolfe, who has already been fired, faces 11 charges related to Rayshard Brooks’ death. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
The other officer at the scene, Devin Brosnan, will testify as a prosecution witness in the case, officials said.
The Rayshard Brooks case comes amid protests over police killings of black Americans.
Lawmakers in Washington are currently debating new police reform laws.
According to officials, this was the ninth time that an Atlanta police officer had been prosecuted for homicide.
They added that it is believed to be the first time a police officer would testify against a member of his own unit, though Devin Brosnan’s lawyer denied his client would be a witness in the case.
President Donald Trump has said he is concerned about the way the case against Garrett Rolfe is being handled.
“I hope he gets a fair shake because police have not been treated fairly in our country,” the president told Fox News.
“You can’t resist a police officer like that,” he added, referring to Rayshard Brooks’ actions during the incident.
Rayshard Brooks, 27, failed a sobriety test on June 12 after he was found asleep inside his car that was blocking a drive-through lane at a Wendy’s restaurant.
After pulling over his vehicle, the father-of-four appeared “slightly impaired, but his behavior during this incident was almost jovial”, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said on June 17.
For over 40 minutes, video shows Rayshard Brooks complying with officers as he consented to a weapons search and provided them with his identification details.
However, as officers tried to handcuff him, Rayshard Brooks began struggling. The footage appears to show Rayshard Brooks punched Garrett Rolfe, grabbed Devin Brosnan’s stun gun and turned back while fleeing to fire it at Garrett Rolfe.
Last week, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee would be removed from Richmond.
However, a judge has since granted a temporary injunction stopping the removal.
Stock-car racing organizers Nascar announced on June 10 it was banning Confederate flags, frequently seen at races.
President Trump meanwhile rejected calls to rename military bases named after Confederate generals, saying they remain part of America’s heritage.
The president tweeted: “The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”
On June, President Trump renewed threats to take federal action against local protesters occupying public spaces.
In a pointed exchange on Twitter, the president demanded that the mayor of Seattle “take back your city” from protesters, whom he called anarchists and domestic terrorists.
Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis ex-policeman accused of killing unarmed black man George Floyd, has made his first court appearance, where his bail was set at $1.25 million.
Prosecutors cited the “severity of the charges” and public outrage as the reason for upping the former officer’s bail from $1 millio.
Derek Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other arresting officers are charged with aiding and abetting murder.
George Floyd’s death in May led to global protests and calls for police reform.
Derek Chauvin, who is white, knelt on George Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while he was being arrested in Minneapolis on May 25.
The 44-year-old and the three other police officers have since been fired.
Meanwhile, mourners in Houston, Texas, where George Floyd lived before moving to Minneapolis, have been viewing his body, publicly on display for six hours at The Fountain of Praise church.
On June 9, a private funeral service will be held in Houston. Memorial services have already been held in Minneapolis and North Carolina, where George Floyd was born.
It is believed a family member escorted George Floyd’s body on a flight to Texas on June 6.
Joe Biden is expected to visit George Floyd’s relatives in Houston to offer his sympathies. Aides to the former vice-president said he would also record a video message for June 9 service.
Derek Chauvin, a 19-year police veteran, did not enter a plea as he appeared via teleconference on June 8.
The former officer did not speak during the 15-minute hearing, and was handcuffed and wearing an orange jumpsuit as he sat a small table.
Judge Jeannice M. Reding set a bail of $1.25 million with no preconditions, or $1 million with conditions that include Derek Chauvin not contacting George Floyd’s family, surrendering his firearms and not working in law enforcement or security as he awaits trial.
His lawyer did not object to the bail price.
Derek Chauvin is currently being held at the Minnesota state prison in Oak Park Heights, after being transferred several times.
Derek Chavin faces three separate charges: unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, for which the maximum penalties are prison terms of 40, 25 and 10 years respectively.
By bringing multiple charges, prosecutors give jurors a choice and increase the chances of a conviction.
Minneapolis city council has voted to ban chokeholds and neck restraints by police officers, and Democrats in Congress have unveiled sweeping legislation on police reform.
Anti-racism protests started by George Floyd’s death are now entering their third week in the US. Huge rallies have been held in several cities, including Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
With the rallying cries “Black Lives matter” and “No Justice, No Peace”, the demonstrations are among the largest US protests against racism since the 1960s. June 6 gatherings included a protest in the Texas town of Vidor, once infamous as a stronghold of the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group.
An official post-mortem examination has declared the death of George Floyd, which triggered widespread protests across the US, as a homicide.
George Floyd, 46, suffered a cardiac arrest while being restrained by Minneapolis police, the report found.
It listed George Floyd’s cause of death as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression”.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump vowed to use the military to end the unrest.
A video showing a white police officer continuing to kneel on George Floyd’s neck even after he pleaded he could not breathe has reignited deep-seated anger over police killings of black Americans.
The footage has led to six consecutive days of protests around the United States and a level of civil unrest not seen in decades.
Officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter and will appear in court next week. Three other police officers have been fired.
The official post-mortem examination of George Floyd by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office also recorded evidence of heart disease and recent drug use. It said he suffered the cardiac arrest “while being restrained by a law enforcement officer” on May 25.
The findings were released shortly after those of a private examination that was carried out by medical examiners hired by the Floyd family.
This report said George Floyd died from asphyxia (lack of oxygen) due to a compression on his neck and also on his back.
The private examination also found the death was a homicide, a statement from the family’s legal team said.
“The cause of death in my opinion is asphyxia, due to compression to the neck – which can interfere with oxygen going to the brain – and compression to the back, which interferes with breathing,” Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City medical examiner, said at a news conference on June 1.
Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Floyd family, said: “Beyond doubt he would be alive today if not for the pressure applied to his neck by Officer Derek Chauvin and the strain on his body by two other officers.”
He added: “The ambulance was his hearse.”
More than 75 cities have seen protests over what happened to George Floyd. Streets that only days ago were deserted because of the coronavirus pandemic have filled with demonstrators marching shoulder to shoulder.
The Floyd case follows the high-profile cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York and others that have driven the Black Lives Matter movement.
In New York, the iconic department store Macy’s was broken into, as shops were looted and windows smashed.
Curfew in the city will resume at 20:00 on June 2.
In Chicago, two people were reported killed amid unrest, although the circumstances are unclear.
The chief of police in Louisville, Kentucky has been sacked after law enforcement officers fired into a crowd on Sunday night, killing the owner of a nearby business.
Australian PM Scott Morrison has demanded an investigation into the alleged assault by police of two Australian journalists covering protests in Washington DC.
Music channels and celebrities have pledged to mark #BlackoutTuesday pausing for eight minutes – the length of time a police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck.
The protests began after a video showed George Floyd, 46, being arrested in Minneapolis on May 25 and a white police officer continuing to kneel on his neck even after he pleaded that he could not breathe.
Officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and will appear in court next week. Three other police officers have been fired.
The Floyd case has reignited deep-seated anger over police killings of black Americans and racism. It follows the high-profile cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Eric Garner in New York; and others that have driven the Black Lives Matter movement.
President Trump delivered a brief address from the White House Rose Garden, amid the sound of a nearby protest being dispersed.
The president said “all Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd” but said his memory must not be “drowned out by an angry mob”.
He described the scenes of looting and violence in the capital on May 31 as “a total disgrace” before pledging to bolster the city’s defenses.
President Trump said: “I’m dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults and the wanton destruction of property.”
Large demonstrations have taken place in at least 30 cities across the US following the death of a black man in police custody.
Curfews have been ordered in cities across the US to try to stem unrest sparked by George Floyd’s death.
Largely peaceful protests later turned violent in many areas, with cars and buildings set alight and riot police using tear gas and rubber bullets.
President Donald Trump urged “healing” over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd but said he could not allow mobs to dominate.
Derek Chauvin, an ex-police, officer has been charged with murdering George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The 44-year-old white man is due to appear in court on June 1.
In video footage, Derek Chauvin can be seen kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for several minutes on May 25. George Floyd repeatedly says that he is unable to breathe.
Three other officers present at the time have also since been sacked.
The Floyd case has reignited US anger over police killings of black Americans. It follows the high-profile cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York and others that have driven the Black Lives Matter movement.
One of the cities worst affected by unrest is Los Angeles. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in the city and activated the National Guard – the reserve military force that can be called on by the US president or state governors to intervene in domestic emergencies.
LA City is under a 20:00 to 05:30 curfew. Numerous shops have been looted, including on the famous retail avenues, Melrose and Fairfax, while overhead footage showed fires burning. Earlier police fired rubber bullets and hit protesters with batons. Hundreds of arrests have been made.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said this was “the heaviest moment I’ve experienced” since the riots in 1992 that were sparked by the acquittal of police over the beating of Rodney King.
In New York, video showed a police car driving into a crowd of protesters. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the situation was not started by the officers, but Congress Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said his comments were unacceptable and he should not be making excuses for the officers.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot imposed a 21:00 to 06:00 curfew until further notice, saying she was “disgusted” at the violence.
In Atlanta, protesters remained on the streets after the curfew began, damaging property and vehicles. Dozens of arrests were made.
One city that has seen less violence is where George Floyd died. Some 700 National Guard officers are aiding police in Minneapolis and they acted quickly to enforce the curfew imposed there. The Star Tribune said the action had so far headed off the unrest of the previous night.
For the second day running, a large crowd of protesters taunted National Guard officers outside the White House in Washington, DC. If they had breached the fence, President Trump said they would have been “greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen”.
In under-curfew Philadelphia, 13 police officers were hurt and at least 35 arrests made as stores were looted, police cars torched and buildings defaced.
San Francisco is the latest to impose a curfew, announced by Mayor London Breed for 20:00 local time on Sunday, after looting and violence.
Indianapolis was one of the cities that had seen peaceful protests during the day turn violent later. At least one shooting death has occurred, but police said no officers had discharged weapons.
Overnight curfews have also been declared in Philadelphia, Miami, Portland and Louisville, among other cities, although many were simply ignored.
Minneapolis police have clashed with protesters following the death of an unarmed black man in police custody.
Police fired tear gas and protesters threw rocks and sprayed graffiti on police cars.
Video of the death shows 46 –year-old George Floyd groaning “I can’t breathe” as a policeman kneels on his neck.
Four police officers have been fired, with Mayor Jacob Frey saying that being black “should not be a death sentence”.
The incident echoes the case of Eric Garner, who was placed in a police chokehold in New York in 2014. Eric Garner’s death became a rallying call against police brutality and was a driving force in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Violent clashes began in the afternoon on May 26, when hundreds of people came to the intersection where the incident had taken place on May 25.
Organizers tried to keep the protest peaceful and maintain coronavirus social distancing, with demonstrators chanting “I can’t breathe,” and “It could’ve been me”.
A crowd of hundreds later marched to the 3rd Precinct, where the officers involved in the death are thought to have worked.
Squad cars were sprayed with graffiti and protesters threw stones at the police building. Police fired tear gas, flash grenades and foam projectiles.
Police said one person had suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being shot away from the protest area but gave no further details.
Officers responding to reports of the use of counterfeit money had approached George Floyd in his vehicle.
According to police the man was told to step away from the vehicle and physically resisted officers.
A police statement said: “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.”
The video taken at the scene does not show how the confrontation started.
It shows a white officer using his knee to pin George Floyd to the ground by the neck.
George Floyd groans “please, I can’t breathe” and “don’t kill me” as bystanders urge officers to let him go.
He ceases to move and an ambulance arrives to take him to hospital where he later died.
Mayor Jacob Frey said it was the “right call” to fire the officers.
He said: “Being black in America should not be a death sentence. For five minutes we watched as a white police officer pressed his knee into the neck of a black man. For five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help.”
The FBI is investigating the incident and will present its findings to the Minnesota state’s attorney for possible federal charges.
Allegations of police brutality have been constantly highlighted since the start of the Black Lives Matter movement. It began after the acquittal of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American Trayvon Martin in February 2012.
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