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Stacey Abrams In Hot Water Over Atlanta Police Officers

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams may have some explaining to do.

Earlier this week, two Atlanta Police Department officers who were involved in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks in June 2020 were cleared of murder and other charges by a special investigator. But at the time of the incident, Abrams, who has yet to realistically concede her 2018 defeat at the hands of now-GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, accused the two officers of murdering Brooks.

“It was a murder,” she declared at the time, as reported by Breitbart News.

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The outlet added:

Abrams said on CNN’s “New Day” that Brooks’ death is akin to George Floyd’s in Minneapolis, saying the decision to shoot him in the back was not justified. She added, “it was murder” by the Atlanta police.

“This is a man who had been frisked, so they knew he did not possess a deadly weapon,” Abrams said. “They knew that he was impaired because he had parked in that driveway, and they knew when he ran away that he did not pose a danger that was a deadly force incentive. 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.”

“[L]et’s assume every single narrative that … he had driven while drunk, he parked and caused inconvenience to those who had to drive around him. At no point did he present a danger that warranted his death. That’s what we’re talking about,” she continued. “A murder because a man-made a mistake — not a mistake that would have cost the police officer his life, but a mistake that was caused out of some form of dehumanization of Rayshard Brooks.”

For her part, Camarota noted that Brooks had managed to obtain possession of one of the officers’ tasers and, according to surveillance video, at one point appeared to turn and aim it at officers while they were chasing him.

But Abrams, who has never been a police officer, dismissed the host’s remark.

“Any time we’re attempting to justify the murder of a man because he had — number one because he embarrassed the police by taking their taser, and two, because he was running on foot, that we decide that it is worth killing him — every moment of justification is a moment of dehumanization,” Abrams said. “That’s the problem. And let’s not get distracted.

However, both of the officers have now been cleared of murder and other charges.

“Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, said Officer Garret Rolfe, who shot Brooks twice in the back, and Officer Devin Bronson, of the Atlanta Police Department, faced a ‘dynamic situation’ that was ‘quickly evolving.’ Such factors prompted the special prosecutor to drop the charges against the officers,” The Daily Wire reported.

The report continued:

On June 12, 2020, Rolfe and Brosnan responded to a call about a man who fell asleep at the wheel while waiting in the drive-thru lane of a Wendy’s restaurant in South Atlanta. The officers approached Brooks and spoke to him for nearly 40 minutes before concluding that the 27-year-old man had imbibed too much alcohol.

Patrol car and body-cam footage from the officers revealed Brooks admitting that he consumed alcohol before his encounter with law enforcement. He would later consent to a portable field alcohol test that came back above the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content. As soon as the officers tried to detain Brooks, he resisted arrest and wrestled his way out of the officers’ control, who both fell to the ground during the incident, resulting in Brosnan’s concussion.

Brooks managed to secure control of Brosnan’s Taser during the struggle, and as he fled the officers, he turned to fire at Rolfe, leading Rolfe to fire three shots at Brooks in what many saw as an act of self-defense at that time.

“Based on the facts and circumstances confronting Officer Rolfe and Officer Brosnan in this case, it is my conclusion the use of deadly force was objectively reasonable and that they did not act with criminal intent,” Skandalakis said, per the UK’s Daily Mail.

The Associated Press also noted that Skandalakis called the situation “a peaceful encounter that all of a sudden becomes a violent encounter.”

Following news that the officers were cleared, Abrams did not apologize but instead doubled down on her previous statements.

“Accountability is an essential component for community trust and public safety — a component that is in question today,” she claimed.

“Deescalation, co-responders, and transparency must become the expected standards,” she added.



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