Devin Brosnan, the Atlanta cop charged in Rayshard Brooks’ death, expressed his horror after watching the viral video of George Floyd’s “heartbreaking” final moments — and said he never expected to also be part of a police-involved death making national headlines, according to a report.
“To me, just watching that is just the exact opposite of what I want anyone to ever associate with me, my profession,” Brosnan, 26, who is charged with aggravated assault, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“It’s totally a tragedy. At the end of the day, someone lost their life. To me, it’s heartbreaking no matter the circumstances, no matter what,” he added about the case in Minneapolis.
Former officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen pinning his keen on Floyd’s neck, faces murder and manslaughter charges.
“When anybody dies truly is something you never want to see happen, to have happen. I can’t imagine what a family would go through,” said Brosnan, who was the first officer to arrive at the scene outside an Atlanta Wendy’s on June 12 after an intoxicated Brooks was found asleep behind the wheel in the drive-thru.
Brooks had a peaceful conversation with Brosnan and officer Garrett Rolfe, but the situation took a turn when he failed a field sobriety test and was told he couldn’t get back behind the wheel. He resisted being cuffed, scuffled with the cops and took off running with a Taser belonging to Brosnan.
Rolfe, 27, who shot Brooks twice in the back, has since been fired and charged with murder, among a slew of other counts.
Brosnan, who was released on $50,000 bond, also is charged with three counts of violation of oath — failing to provide aid to Brooks in a timely manner, using his foot as a control technique and standing on the man after he was shot.
“I feel like my side wasn’t really heard and given the short timeframe it’s hard for anybody to understand all the facts and the whole circumstances around it,” he told the newspaper. “That being said, I’m still willing to cooperate.”
He said he fell backward during the struggle with Brooks and hit his head on the pavement, leaving him with a concussion that left him feeling disoriented and terrified when Brooks grabbed his Taser.
“You’re always taught in policing that you have to expect anything to happen,” Brosnan said. “But that being said, I felt like he was very respectful, I was respectful to him.”
Brooks is seen in video firing the Taser at a screaming Brosnan before fleeing across the parking lot. Seconds later, he was shot in the back and suffered organ damage and blood loss, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined.
Brosnan expressed surprise that Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Howard last week said the officer had decided to become a witness for the prosecution and testify against Rolfe.
His lawyer Don Samuel has said Brosnan has not made such an agreement, but did sit down with prosecutors for three hours and answered all their questions the day before he was charged.
As to why Howard said he’d be a prosecution witness, Brosnan said: “I just looked at it like, he could have just said I’m doing the right thing — I’m talking.
“But it just seemed like it was more important to make it political than it was to get to the truth of the matter and get to the real facts of it. … Some person lost their life. It’s not something to make political,” he said.
“I’m not a cooperating witness, I’m cooperating. I think that’s the takeaway,” he added. “I’ll tell the truth to anybody who needs to hear it.”
The officer admitted he put his foot on Brooks, saying that at the time, he didn’t know all that had happened because of the effects of his concussion.
“I hear gunfire. I know he still has my Taser. I know there’s a crowd. I got up to him and I’m trying to figure out what’s going on. You need to make sure you’re safe before you can help or do anything else,” he told the paper.
Brosnan said he took his foot off Brooks once he realized the man could not get a hold of his Taser again.
“It’s totally just an instinctual thing for my own safety,” he said. “When I realized I was safe that’s when I take it off. In no way shape or form was I trying to hurt this man.”
Brosnan is scheduled to be interviewed Tuesday by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
“I have full faith in the criminal justice system. I really do. I have 100 percent faith the truth will come out,” he told the AJC. “People will see this for what it is. They will understand I didn’t do anything wrong. I know the truth is what counts.”