It is understandable in the wake of the George Floyd murder by police and weeks of protest that another police shooting of a black this soon after would touch a nerve. That does not, however, justify the actions of an angry mob, which set fire last night to the Wendy’s restaurant where the tragic incident occurred. That’s a little like taking an ax to a chair after stubbing your toe on one of its legs.
Neither does it justify the rush to judgment by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who called for the immediate termination of the officer who shot 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks following a struggle in which the suspect seized the officer’s Taser.
Yesterday, the full, uncut body cam of one of the two officers who initially confronted Brooks was released. The video, which follows is long, running close to an hour and a half, but we have gone through and identified the highlights relevant to how this case should be prosecuted going forward.
The video opens with a police cruiser pulling into the restaurant’s parking lot, having received complaints that a man was sleeping in a car blocking the restaurant’s drive-thru lane.
2:04: The driver of the cruiser exits his vehicle. He begins a dialog with another officer who has arrived on the scene and reports that the driver of the offending vehicle appeared to be passed out and was groggy when awakened. The officer also reports a strong odor of alcohol emanating from the man’s car.
3:18: The officers approach Brook’s car, now relocated to a parking space. Brooks says he was dropped off at the restaurant by a woman he had been out with, explaining that the car he was now seated in was his own car. He also tells officers he has no recollection of having blocked the drive-thru lane.
7:00: When quizzed by officers as to his physical location, he gives several wrong answers.
8:00: Brooks is asked how much he had to drink that day. He replies having had one drink. The officer expresses incredulity. He conducts a routine probe, asking if the suspect has used any drugs or has a medical condition.
10:14: Having asked Brooks to exit his vehicle, the officer announces his intention to conduct a field sobriety test. He proceeds to instruct Brooks to take nine steps, turn around and take four more. Brooks takes four steps, turns around, and takes an additional nine.
19:03: The officer asks Brooks where he would place himself on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is “completely sober,” and 10 is “very impaired,” Brooks responds clearly, “A ten. Very impaired.” When asked to confirm his response, he says, “Absolutely. I’m fine,” which leads the officer to assume the suspect didn’t understand the meaning of the word impaired.
19:51: Again, Brooks appears confused about what city he is in.
24:50: Brooks admits to having had too much to drink and that he parked to “sleep it off.”
27:30: Brooks agrees to take a breathalyzer test.
29:28: Brooks is informed he is being arrested and is asked to put his hands behind his back. Shortly after, Brooks wriggles out of the handcuffs and begins to fight the officers. He is ordered to stop fighting or else will be Tased. The officer’s body cam appears to become dislodged and fall to the ground.
30:12: The sound of three gunshots is heard. These don’t appear to be the shots that felled Brooks. The sounds of the struggle continue in the distance.
After the commotion ends and presumably Brooks has been shot fleeing the scene, we hear the voice of a third-party bystander who insists that Brooks was complying with officers’ request and there was no grounds for arresting him.
The one inescapable fact that comes from this video is that Rayshard Brooks was resisting arrest. If he hadn’t he might be alive today.
(h/t Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit)