Attorney for former Atlanta officer charged in fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks seeks DA's recusal

Attorney for former Atlanta officer charged in fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks seeks DA's recusal
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An attorney for the former Atlanta police officer charged in the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks filed a motion Monday seeking Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard’s recusal from the case, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported

Noah Pines reportedly said Howard’s statements to the public on the shooting last month have been “ethically inappropriate.” 

“Paul Howard has systematically sought to deprive Garrett Rolfe of a fair trial and impartial jury since the day he announced his decision to arrest Garrett Rolfe,” the defense motion states, according to the newspaper. 

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Pines also said that Howard will be called by the defense to explain about contradictory statements he made about dangers posed by a stun gun, according to the Journal-Constitution. In the June shooting, which was caught on video, Brooks grabbed a stun gun belonging to an officer on scene, Devin Brosnan, after Rolfe tried to place Brooks in handcuffs. 

Howard has said Brooks presented “no threat” to the officers' safety after he pointed the stun gun at them. But the defense motions states that just 10 days earlier, Howard told the public at a press conference that a stun gun is a “deadly weapon.” 

Howard had made that comment after he charged six Atlanta Police Department officers for their roles in the violent arrests of two unarmed college students, the paper noted. 

In an emailed statement sent on Howard's behalf, the district attorney said, “We have received the motion for recusal filed by Garrett Rolfe’s Counsel. When the motion is assigned to a Superior Court Judge with appropriate jurisdiction, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office will respond at that time. Until that occurs, we will have no further comment on this motion.”

Rolfe turned himself in to authorities last month. He was charged with 11 counts, including felony murder and aggravated assault following Brooks’s death. 

The fatal shooting was captured on video and showed Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, fleeing after grabbing an officer’s stun gun in a Wendy’s parking lot and appearing to turn with the stun gun before Rolfe shot him. Brooks later died in hospital after surgery.