Rayshard Brooks Had Criminal Past, Was Waiting for Probation

June 17, 2020 Updated: June 30, 2020

Rayshard Brooks, the man who was fatally shot on June 12 after a police encounter at a Wendy’s parking lot in Atlanta, Georgia, had a long and extensive criminal history that includes child endangerment.

The 27-year-old had previously had multiple convictions that include cruelty to children, false imprisonment, battery on a family member, theft, receiving stolen property, criminal interference with government property, and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

According to court records, there was a fugitive warrant out for his arrest on Dec. 30, 2019, for violation of probation to notify the community of his new address, and failure to complete theft prevention class for the original offenses of false imprisonment, cruelty to children, family violence, battery, and simple battery.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Clayton County Jail)

In a video posted on his YouTube channel on May 24, Brooks said he was waiting for probation to give him an interstate compact for his probation. A compact is the only legal mechanism in the country for the interstate transfer of the parole or probation of an adult criminal.

“It’s been two or three weeks now I’ve spoken with probation and I haven’t heard anything back,” he also shared in the video, which is a recording of an online call with another individual. “I’ve been doing my part, but the moment I do something out of hand, back to jail I go.”

“So I try to do everything in the proper channels to abide by the rules and keep myself in order. But here yet, I have a family, I have kids, I’ve been out of work for about two or three weeks now,” Brooks continued. “My job has been calling me—’Mr. Brooks, where are you?’—waiting for probation!”

Brooks said earlier in the video that he was working as a full time carpenter.

On the night of June 12, Brooks was found sleeping behind the wheel at a Wendy’s drive-through. Two police officers, Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan, conversed with Brooks for more than 40 minutes, video from the two officers’ body cameras and dash-mounted cameras on their cruisers showed.

Brooks, a husband and father of three daughters aged 1, 2, and 8 and a 13-year-old stepson, told officers that he had had a couple of drinks while celebrating his daughter’s birthday that night. Brooks consented to a field sobriety test, but failed Georgia’s legal alcohol limit of 0.08 percent when his alcohol level was found to be .108 percent.

He physically struggled with the police officers during the arrest, took a stun gun from an officer, and appeared to point and deploy it at the officer as he fled, but missed, according to surveillance video. The officer, Rolfe, then fired about three shots at Brooks.

Brooks died after being rushed to a local hospital for surgery, officials said. An autopsy found that he was hit twice in the back and suffered resultant injuries to his organs and blood loss that led to his death.

By early June 14, Rolfe was fired and Brosnan was placed on administrative duty, the Atlanta Police Department announced.

Justin Miller, an attorney for Brooks’s family, said that Brooks’s oldest daughter learned of her father’s death while at a birthday party with cupcakes and friends on June 13. She was also waiting for Brooks to take her skating later that day, Miller said.

A sheriff in Burke County—about 160 miles east of Atlanta—said he believes the actions of the police officer who fired at Brooks were “completely justified.” Alfonzo Williams told CNN on June 17 that Brooks’s use of the stun gun was extremely dangerous because it could have immobilized the officer for several seconds.

“If an officer is hit with that Taser, all of his muscles will be locked up, and he’ll have the inability to move and to respond,” Williams said. “This was a completely justified shooting.”

If the stun gun hit the officer, it could have allowed Brooks to steal the officer’s gun or seriously injure him, Williams told the news station.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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