Abrams on Rayshard Brooks killing: ‘It was murder’
Former Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on Monday said that video of the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta indicated to her that the officers involved were not in fear for their lives when he was shot.
In an appearance on CNN, Abrams said that the officer who shot Brooks, who later died at a hospital from the gunshot wounds, appeared to be frustrated or panicking but not showing fear for his life when he opened fire on Brooks, who had been given a sobriety test after being found asleep in his car in a Wendy’s drive-thru.
“The decision to shoot him in the back was one made out of maybe impatience or frustration or panic, but it was not one that justifies deadly force. It was murder,” Abrams, who has been frequently been floated as a possible running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, said.
“This was a man who had been frisked, so they knew he did not possess a deadly weapon,” she added. “They knew when he ran away that he did not pose a danger.”
Democrat Stacey Abrams discusses the death of Rayshard Brooks in a police shooting: “The decision to shoot him in the back was one made out of maybe impatience or frustration or panic, but it was not one that justifies deadly force. It was murder” https://t.co/W1IBOYYY5E pic.twitter.com/WtTbFSIiLr
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 15, 2020
Abrams’s statement comes as Atlanta police have maintained that Brooks struggled with an officer before grabbing the officer’s Taser weapon and pointing it at him. Video of the incident obtained by CNN contains audio of an officer yelling “you’re going to get Tased,” followed by “hands off the Taser” seconds later.
“Witnesses report that during the struggle the male subject grabbed and was in possession of the Taser,” said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
One officer has been fired over the incident and another placed on administrative leave. The city’s police chief, Erika Shields, also resigned following news of Brooks’s death as well as a separate incident in which two black college students were dragged out of a car by police during protests in the city.
The medical examiner’s office on Sunday ruled that Brooks’s death was a homicide.
The shooting sparked protests across the city in the days that followed, and the Wendy’s where Brooks was shot was set aflame.
Brooks’s death comes as demonstrations have rocked the city and others nationwide for weeks following the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day.
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