Black American Rayshard Brooks was shot twice in the back, an autopsy investigation into his death has revealed, after shocking body cam video of him running from police during a scuffle with officers in a Wendy’s car park was shared online.
Mr Brooks, 27, died outside the fast-food restaurant on Friday night (local time) in Atlanta, in the US state of Georgia.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it was investigating the incident. Police said Mr Brooks resisted arrest after failing a field sobriety test.
An autopsy conducted on Sunday showed that Mr Brooks died from blood loss and organ injuries caused by two gunshot wounds to the back, an investigator for the medical examiner said in a statement.
The manner of his death was homicide, the statement said.
Mr Brooks’ death has sparked more anger during tense times in the US with protesters taking to the streets of Atlanta and the Wendy’s restaurant being burned down.
The night Rayshard Brooks died
Footage obtained by US news outlet NBC from Atlanta’s police department shows the final moments of Mr Brooks’ life.
In the video filmed by police officer Devin Brosnan’s body cam, Mr Brooks is asked if he’s been drinking after police confronted him while he sat in a parked Toyota Camry.
He tells another police officer Garrett Rolfe he has been drinking, but is “only going a few minutes down the road”.
Officer Rolfe asks him to take a breath test.
Mr Brooks tells Officer Rolfe he can walk home and doesn’t care about leaving the car, but the cop tells him he needs a yes or no as to whether he will submit to the testing.
“Why would you walk home?” he asks Mr Brooks.
“I just don’t want to be in violation of anybody. I can walk. My sister’s home is right here,” Mr Brooks says.
Officer Rolfe asks Mr Brooks if he would be in violation of anything if he chose to drive.
Mr Brooks explains if it’s okay for him to leave the car and walk home he will as his daughters are there.
“My daughter’s birthday was yesterday,” he says.
Mr Brooks is again asked if he will take the test to which he replies: “I don’t want to refuse anything.”
He then agrees to the test and waits for Officer Rolfe to retrieve one.
‘You’re just doing your job’
“Oh, man,” he says to Officer Brosnan wearing the body cam.
The police officer tells him: “I’m sorry, just trying to make sure you’re safe to drive that’s all.”
Mr Brooks acknowledges this and the officer tells him he wants to make sure he’s “okay” after finding him sleeping.
“I know, you’re just doing your job,” Mr Brooks says.
Mr Brooks takes the breath test and says he’s had “one and a half” drinks as he wanted to leave to get something to eat.
“Well, I think you’ve had too much to drink to be driving,” Officer Rolfe says.
“Put your hands behind your back for me.”
The two officers then begin to handcuff Mr Brooks and a scuffle ensues.
The camera doesn’t capture everything as it is dislodged, but the men can be heard yelling.
“Hey, stop that,” one of the officers says.
One of the dash cameras recorded the brawl. As Brooks fights to stand, Brosnan presses a Taser to his leg and threatens to stun him. Brooks grabs the Taser and pulls it away. He struggles to his feet, the Taser in his hand, and starts running.
Rolfe fires his Taser and a yelp can be heard above the weapon’s electric crackle. Rolfe runs after Brooks, and seconds later three gunshots sound.
Residents, who sound like they have witnessed what has just occurred, voice their disbelief.
“They f***ing shot him?” one man says.
Video shot from another angle showed Mr Brooks being restrained on the ground by the two officers, but he managed to escape them and ran.
That’s when the taser was deployed followed by the use of guns.
The police department later fired Officer Rolfe who allegedly shot and killed Mr Brooks, police spokesman Carlos Campos confirmed late on Saturday.
Officer Brosnan was put on administrative leave. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields also resigned.
with Reuters and AP
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