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California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters took to Twitter on Tuesday to rail against police officers, saying that current reforms being discussed and debated in Congress and around the country don’t go far enough.
“Watch the video of the killing of #RayshardBrooks. A senseless & needless killing by a murderous cop!” Waters began, in reference to the death of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks who was killed by a police officer in Atlanta last week after resisting arrest and stealing one officer’s taser.
“Police reform is NOT ENOUGH. Getting rid of serial, racist, ignorant, & stupid cops must be a top priority. Let’s call them out! Police protective unions, you’ve got to go too!” Waters added.
Watch the video of the killing of #RayshardBrooks. A senseless & needless killing by a murderous cop! Police reform is NOT ENOUGH. Getting rid of serial, racist, ignorant, & stupid cops must be a top priority. Let’s call them out! Police protective unions, you’ve got to go too!
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) June 15, 2020
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced her party would introduce police reform legislation that reportedly called for “demilitarizing” local departments, likely a reference to SWAT teams and other police units that utilize military-style equipment and tactics.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appointed the chamber’s only black member, GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, to lead police reform legislation in the chamber.
Friday evening, Atlanta police were called to check on a man who had fallen asleep in his vehicle in the drive-through lane at a Wendy’s restaurant.
On arrival, two officers, Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan, both of whom were white, discovered Brooks behind the wheel. After getting him out of the car, the officers politely engaged him for several minutes, including administering a field sobriety test — standard police protocol — which he failed.
The encounter was captured on officers’ bodycams.
As officers move to arrest Brooks a few moments later, he begins fighting with them. Additional video taken by Wendy’s patrons shows Brooks eventually gaining control of one officer’s taser while striking the other officer in the face with his fist.
At that point, Brooks runs, and with officers in pursuit, he appears to turn around and fire the taser at the closest one, Rolfe — which could have incapacitated him if he had been struck.
Rolfe then opened fire on Brooks, fatally striking him twice in the back.
Rolfe was fired from the department a day later and Brosnan was placed on administrative leave.
The incident followed the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month, where then-officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, was seen on video pinning Floyd to the pavement with his knee for several minutes until he became unresponsive.
Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder. As of this writing, the Atlanta officer has not yet been charged, but Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard has said if he charges Rolfe it will be either murder or felony murder.
Current and former police officers have weighed in on the Brooks incident, with several opining that Rolfe was right to use deadly force.
Sheriff Alfonzo Williams of Burke County, Georgia, said Tuesday that the shooting was “completely justified” and that the incident is now being over-hyped as a “senseless political” weapon.
“There’s nothing malicious or sadistic in the way these officers behaved,” Williams, who is black, told CNN. “It’s very unfortunate that the law enforcement leaders in Georgia have not come out and stood together on this case. I think it’s political and it’s senseless.”
Former NYPD officer and Secret Service agent Dan Bongino also noted that Rolfe was left with little choice but to react with deadly force, a situation that he was put into through Brooks’ actions.
“Obviously, a man died and that’s tragic. Nobody wants to see that, whether it’s the police side, the community side, anywhere,” Bongino began. “Having said that I always ask the question, when it comes to law enforcement issues for the people who are, sadly, ignorant of them, many who haven’t lived in the shoes of a law enforcement officer themselves, ‘Well, what would you do? What’s your suggestion?’”
(Source: Fox News)
He added that after Brooks failed his field sobriety test, the officers were obligated, under the law, to arrest him and book on charges.
“Make no mistake, the use of force was controlled by one person: The individual who resisted arrest, stole the weapon, ran away, and then pointed it at the officers, which is clear on the video,” Bongino said.
As for Waters, last month she accused President Donald Trump, with evidence, of being responsible for Floyd’s death because he “emboldened” Chauvin.
“He has disparaged blacks in so many ways. All that stuff about loving blacks is so disingenuous. Nobody believes that. He’s such a liar. He cannot be trusted,” she said. “And yes, I think he has emboldened those who are racist. He’s emboldened police officers to be nastier, tough, to do things like the chokehold. I believe all of that.”
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