Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Paul Howard Jr., held a press conference earlier this afternoon to announce eleven charges against police officer Garrett Wolfe for the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks. The shooting took place at a local Atlanta Wendys.
In what appears to be a decision heavily influenced by local politics, DA Howard is charging officer Garrett Wolfe with felony murder; an unlawful killing with malice, forethought and specific intent. It looks like Howard is purposefully making a mess.
During his press remarks the district attorney stated Mr. Rayshard Brooks was “calm, cordial and really displayed a cooperative nature – he was almost jovial” after he was found “peacefully sleeping” in his car outside the Wendy’s Friday night and subjected to a sobriety test. According to the DA “for 41 minutes and 17 seconds, [Brooks] followed their instructions, he answered the questions,” Howard said. “Mr. Brooks was never informed that he was under arrest for driving under the influence.”
There is something rather unusual about the way DA Paul Howard framed the encounter between the police and Rayshard Brooks, because CCTV video and body-cam footage do not support the district attorney’s version of events. Obviously in a courtroom the defense is going to replay the DA statements while they run simultaneous footage of Mr. Rayshard Brooks resisting arrest, fighting with police and ultimately taking one of the officers’ tasers to use as a weapon.
The highly coordinated press conference narrative, as outlined by what seems like a not very astute district attorney, is very much at odds with what most people have already seen in the videos of the encounter. The purposeful disconnect gives the impression that DA Brooks is intentionally trying to throw the court case in advance.
There’s something very sketchy going on in the political background…. and I cannot help but wonder if Paul Howard Jr. is planning to be defeated in the next election (he seems in trouble) and is, as an intentional and self-centered plan, trying to set-up his political successor with a lose/lose scenario.
The eleven charges which include felony murder seem positioned from a district attorney who knows he won’t be around to deal with the case details. Howard can present himself as the community hero today and force his successor into the role of legal villain. That scenario is exactly what this looks like. Recently:
ATLANTA — Fulton County’s long-time district attorney faces two separate state investigations, but it could be voters who remove him from office.
District Attorney Paul Howard came in second in the primary election for his seat on Tuesday, the worst election showing he’s had since taking office in 1997. He now advances to a runoff with Democratic challenger Fani Willis.
“What you will overwhelmingly see, is that the people of Fulton County, Georgia, they desperately want a change,” Willis said on Wednesday. (June 10, 2020)
The lead investigative agency, The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), didn’t even know the press conference was going to be held today [LINK] and they have not completed their investigation. They had no idea the DA was going to file charges:
Regardless of internal Atlanta politics, the message to police is chilling. I would not want to be living anywhere around Fulton county, Georgia; because I suspect there is going to be a massive drop in law enforcement. Crime will likely rise, violence will likely escalate, and the suffering community will be the same black neighborhoods who might currently be thanking DA Howard without realizing what consequences are looming.
Here’s the press conference. It is cognitively disjointed all the way through; and seemingly run by people who have no clue what they are doing as they put a seemingly rushed media presentation together on the fly.
The representative image of Atlanta, Georgia, is really quite bad. WATCH:
Also, here’s the Body-Cam footage (incident takes place at 41:00).
Also here’s the CCTV video from Wendy’s (shooting at 28:30)
Eye Witness video of the fight with police: