The city of Atlanta will pay $1 million to the family of Rayshard Brooks, who was shot and killed by a white police officer in June 2020
The Atlanta City Council voted to approve the settlement on Monday, November 21, 2022.
The 27-year-old was shot following a confrontation with two white police officers in June 2020. The shooting came just a week after the death of George Floyd, which sparked a new wave of demonstrations in Atlanta against police brutality and racial injustice.
In August, a special prosecutor appointed to consider the case announced that using deadly force was “objectively reasonable.”
Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, said he would not pursue charges against Officer Garrett Rolfe, who shot Brooks, and Officer Devin Brosnan.
Although the Brooks family remains disappointed that no charges were brought against the officers, they’re pleased to have settled with the city, the family’s attorney said. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed in September 2021 by Brooks’ widow, Tomika Miller, and his estate.
The City Council voted 15-0 Monday to approve the settlement.
“This grieving family has been through so much during this process. Although the children of Mr. Brooks have lost their father, settling the case will undoubtedly assist them with future plans as they come of age,” the family’s lawyers said in a statement.
On June 12, 2020, police responded to complaints of a man sleeping in a car in the drive-thru lane of Wendy’s restaurant. Police body camera video shows the two officers calmly conversing with Brooks for about 40 minutes.
Officers later told Brooks he’d had too much to drink to be driving and tried to arrest him. Then, Brooks grabbed a Taser from one of the officers and fled, firing it at Rolfe as he ran. Rolfe fired his gun, and an autopsy found that Brooks was shot twice in the back.
Police Chief Erika Shields resigned less than 24 hours after the shooting, and protesters set fire to the Wendy’s, which was later demolished.
Rolfe was fired the day after Brooks died, but his dismissal was reversed in May 2021 by the Atlanta Civil Service Board. The board found that the city failed to follow its procedures for disciplinary actions.