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July 9, 2020
Judge Napolitano on Rayshard Brooks case: Murder charge against Atlanta officer is ‘catastrophic mistake’

Judge Napolitano on Rayshard Brooks case: Murder charge against Atlanta officer is ‘catastrophic mistake’

It was a “catastrophic mistake” to bring a murder charge towards one of many police officers concerned within the shooting of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks, Fox Information senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano asserted Thursday.

Showing on “Fox & Friends,” Napolitano acknowledged that the 11 expenses towards 27-year-old former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe — together with the felony homicide cost, which might doubtlessly result in the demise penalty — are “grossly inflated.”


“Look, if there’s a jury trial, this is what the decide goes to say to the jurors earlier than they begin deliberating. If that police officer moderately believed that Mr. Brooks was utilizing or was about to make use of lethal pressure on him, the police officer, then the police officer is permitted to make use of lethal pressure to guard himself,” he defined. “Secondly, the dedication of what was within the police officer’s thoughts isn’t what an inexpensive civilian would do, however what a affordable police officer would do.”

Brooks, a father of 4, was shot and killed almost a week ago exterior a Wendy’s restaurant the place he’d apparently fallen asleep in his automobile within the drive-thru lane. He allegedly failed a subject sobriety check — and finally was seen wrestling with the officers and working with one in all their Tasers main as much as the capturing.

Fulton County District Legal professional Paul Howard Jr. mentioned investigators had reviewed at the least eight movies of the incident, together with police physique and dashcam photos in addition to Wendy’s surveillance footage and cellphone recordings taken by witnesses on the scene.

“We have concluded, on the time Mr. Brooks was shot, that he didn’t pose a right away risk of demise or critical bodily harm to the officer or officers,” he instructed reporters.

In an announcement, attorneys for Rolfe argued that their shopper used permissible pressure beneath the circumstances.

A second officer, Devin Brosnan — whose attorneys mentioned had suffered a concussion when Brooks knocked him to the bottom — is going through three expenses, together with aggravated assault. In accordance with Howard, Brosnan had agreed to offer an announcement towards Rolfe and develop into a “state’s witness” — however Brosnan’s attorneys later disputed that declare.

“[Do] you realize what is going on to occur?” requested Napolitano. “[Rolfe] goes to be discovered not responsible, and that is going to produce an amazing uproar amongst the folks of Atlanta.

“They need to have charged some way more affordable cost fairly than one which exposes him to the demise penalty,” he urged. “It is simply not going to work.”

In accordance with Napolitano, the homicide cost was both carried out as a result of Howard is up for re-election in Fulton County this yr or to “pander to the group.”

“There’s one professional authorized motive for overcharging. That is to get him to plead responsible to a lesser cost,” he instructed the “Buddies” hosts. “However, I do not know if this D.A. would settle for such a responsible plea as a result of he’s decided to make a transparent instance out of this man. This isn’t the proper manner to make an instance.


“Pay attention, if this was a standard-issue Taser — and I’ve no motive to consider it was something aside from that — it produces 50,000 volts of electricity,” Napolitano remarked additional. “That is sufficient to cease an elephant and it’s sufficient to kill a human being.

“However, the check isn’t, ‘is the Taser a lethal weapon?’ The check is: ‘did the police officer moderately consider that a lethal weapon was being aimed at him?’ It might have been an elastic band and paper clip. But when he moderately believed it was a lethal weapon, then he was approved to make use of lethal pressure,” he concluded.

“With out that regulation, the cops cannot do their jobs.”

Fox Information’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.

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