Officer detained in Rayshard Brooks case

Nathan Layne and Rich McKay
The former Atlanta police officer charged over Rayshard Brooks' death has been taken into custody

The former Atlanta police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks has turned himself into authorities in keeping with an arrangement with prosecutors.

Garrett Rolfe, a white officer charged on Wednesday in the killing, was being held at the Fulton County jail.

He was fired by the city's police department on Saturday, a day after the shooting in the parking lot of a Wendy's fast food restaurant.

The death of Brooks further heightened social tensions at a time of national soul searching over police brutality and racism in the US criminal justice system.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said on Thursday that political motives had played no role in how he handled the case.

"This is a 27-year-old man who is dead. He didn't have to die. These shootings are continuing to happen all over our country ... and a high number of them are African Americans," he told CNN

Announcing the charges on Wednesday, Howard had said he recommended no bond for Rolfe, who shot Brooks twice in the back with his service handgun after a scuffle. Rolfe was charged with felony murder and 10 other counts.

A second officer on the scene, Devin Brosnan, did not discharge his weapon. He faces a handful of lesser charges, including aggravated assault and violation of his oath.

Brosnan turned himself in at the jail earlier on Thursday and was released on bond, according to his lawyer.

Howard had told reporters on Wednesday that Brosnan had agreed to turn state's evidence against his fellow officer, but Brosnan's lawyer, Don Samuel, denied that.

While his client had told Howard's office "everything" during a lengthy interview and would cooperate with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's probe, Brosnan had not agreed to be state's witness, the lawyer said.

"Officer Brosnan has not agreed to testify. He has not agreed to plead guilty," Samuel said.

The killing of Brooks came amid a national wave of protests sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.

That officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with second-degree murder. Three other Minneapolis police officers have been charged with aiding and abetting.

The police encounter with Brooks began calmly after he was found sleeping in his car in the restaurant's drive-through lane. Rolfe and Brosnan administered a sobriety test, after which the situation escalated.

Video of Brooks appeared to show him grabbing one of the officer's Taser stun guns and turning and pointing it at Rolfe before being shot.

Howard said investigators concluded Rolfe knew the Taser had already been fired twice and thus was rendered harmless.

One of the bullets from Rolfe's gun hit a white Chevy Trailblazer at the Wendy's, threatening the life of the three passengers inside, according to Howard.

Samuel described the decision to charge his client as "irrational" and politically motivated. He said Brosnan's conduct on the night of the shooting was "exemplary" and a "textbook example" of how an officer should approach a situation involving someone inebriated.

Brosnan was charged him with aggravated assault for allegedly standing on Brooks' body after he was shot and for violating his oath of office by not rendering medical aid immediately.