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‘Suicide by Cop’: Why Did They Burn Down Wendy’s Over This Bulls**t?

Posted on | June 14, 2020 | 2 Comments


The Rayshard Brooks Memorial Bonfire:

An Atlanta Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks, 27, was fatally shot by police Friday night was set on fire.
The restaurant caught fire Saturday after protesters broke windows at the restaurant and threw fireworks inside.Cortez Stafford, a spokesman for Atlanta fire, said the blaze grew because it wasn’t safe to get to the area near the restaurant when the fire began. He estimated there were 1,000 protesters near the Wendy’s. . . .
In addition to the Wendy’s fire, protesters walked on to the highway [Interstate 75/85, known locally as the Downtown Connector] earlier in the evening, stopping traffic. Troopers warned them that they were violating the law. The demonstrators locked arms.“You have three minutes to disperse,” a trooper said. Organizers encouraged people to leave, but not many did. Some demonstrators were arrested on the interstate before one lane on the highway reopened shortly after 10 p.m.Protesters continued on to the Atlanta Police Department’s Zone 3 precinct on Cherokee Avenue where they chanted.

“Cherokee Avenue”? Isn’t that cultural appropriation? Has Elizabeth Warren denounced this yet? But never mind  that now . . .

When I wrote about the death of Rayshard Brooks yesterday, I was angry that this had happened in my hometown. Why was it, I asked, that the Atlanta Police Department could not have at least one black officer on the scene of this arrest in an overwhelmingly black neighborhood? And by “overwhelmingly black,” I mean like Mogadishu, it’s so black. You can ask anybody from the Atlanta area about that neighborhood. As I said, I don’t believe in hiring quotas, but it seems like to me that Atlanta, a city with a 51% black population, should have enough black officers on patrol that if two officers answer a 911 call to the vicinity of University Avenue and Pryor Road, at least one of those cops would be black. Especially in the wake of two weeks of racial “unrest” (which is what Professional Journalists call riots, looting and arson), you would think police might be sufficiently concerned about perceptions that this could have been avoided. Yet everything about this situation was stupid.

How drunk was Rayshard Brooks? So drunk he passed out behind the wheel of his car in the Wendy’s drive-through line. Stupid.

It was a little after 10:30 p.m. when police got the 911 call. The first officer responding was Devin Bronsan. About 20 minutes later, at 10:55, Officer Garrett Rolfe arrives. Rolfe is a seven-year veteran of the APD, and is a decorated member of the High Intensity Traffic Team (HITT) Unit, which “works to reduce the number of traffic related injuries and deaths in the City of Atlanta, especially involving impaired drivers.” Rolfe received an award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving for making more than 50 DUI arrests in one year. So this was not Rolfe’s first time at the rodeo; he is a specialist at drunk-driving prevention.

APD made public bodycam video from both officers. You can see from the videos that both officers were entirely courteous and professional in their interaction with Brooks, who tries to tell them an apparent lie, that someone dropped him off at the Wendy’s, where he had left his car. Brooks claims he doesn’t even remember being asleep behind the wheel. Rolfe explains “everything’s on camera,” but Brooks doesn’t acknowledge that he has been caught in a lie. Stupid.


While I’m not a lawyer, I believe the legal term for the condition Brooks was in would be “three sheets to the wind.” He was drunk as the proverbial skunk, high as the proverbial kite. Excrement-faced.

Brooks: “I’m not causing any problems.”
Officer Rolfe: “Well, we’ve got to make sure that you’re safe to operate a vehicle. Now, do you know where you are?”
Brooks: “Yeah, absolutely. I’m in Forest Park, Old Dixie Highway.”

The Wendy’s in Forest Park — the address is 131 Main Drive, but it’s right next to Old Dixie Highway, east of the airport — is 8 miles south of the University Avenue location in Atlanta, which is in Fulton County.

Forest Park is in Clayton County. In other words, Brooks was so drunk, he didn’t even know what county he was in.

Rolfe asks Brooks how much he’s had to drink, and he claims to have had only one margarita, which is an obvious lie, unless there’s a bar where margaritas are served in a half-gallon bucket. The cop has Brooks do a field sobriety test, then there is an extended conversation in which Brooks tries to talk his way out of it, and by “talk,” I mean, lie. Brooks keeps trying to claim that he wasn’t actually driving, etc., and finally Rolfe asks him to take a preliminary breath test. It is now 11:22 p.m., about 40 minutes after the first cop arrived on the scene, which means Brooks has had a chance to sober up a little bit. Generally speaking, each regular-size drink of alcohol (a 12-ounce beer, a 6-ounce glass of wine, 1.5 ounces of whiskey) will raise your blood-alcohol content (BAC) by 0.02%, so that you would need about four beers to reach the legal limit of .08% BAC. Your body can metabolize alcohol at a rate of about one drink an hour, however, so that if you spent three hours in a bar and had six drinks during that time, your BAC might still be below .08%.


One margarita, my ass.

If I’m reading that correctly, Brooks was over .10% BAC — closer to .11% — and given that it had been about an hour since he passed out in his car, I’m guessing he was closer to .14% when he pulled into the Wendy’s parking lot. Drunk as the proverbial skunk, I say, and remember that Officer Rolfe had gotten an award for his work to reduce the number of accidents “involving impaired drivers.” No way could he let Brooks go, and so after another minute of conversation — giving Brooks an opportunity to continue lying about how many drinks he had — Officer Rolfe says, “All right, I think you’ve had too much to drink to be driving. Put your hands behind your back for me.”

Officer Rolfe begins to put the handcuffs on Brooks, at which point, Brooks begins fighting. The struggle between him and the two officers continues a little more than 30 seconds, during which Brooks takes away Officer Rolfe’s taser, and is in turn tasered by Officer Bronsan. Brooks breaks free, and takes off running, pursued by Officer Bronsan with the taser. When Brooks turns to point the taser at Office Bronsan, he is shot by Officer Rolfe. This situation became violent so suddenly that less than 45 seconds elapsed between Officer Rolfe saying “I think you’ve had too much to drink” and him firing the fatal shots.

It happened without warning. Brooks was not the least bit belligerent or confrontational in his interactions with the cops, during the roughly 50 minutes that elapsed between the first officer arriving on the scene and the moment they tried to handcuff him. Brooks seemed to think that he could talk his way out of an arrest, but there was no hint that he was planning to attack the officers if they tried to arrest him.

What was Rayshard Brooks thinking? How did he expect this to end? Wasn’t this very close to a “suicide by cop” situation?

An attorney for the dead man’s relatives had a lot to say about “civil rights,” but nobody has a right to drive drunk — so drunk you don’t even know where you’re at — nor does anyone have the right to turn a DUI arrest into an assault on police. Obviously, the decision to shoot a fleeing suspect was wrong, except that Brooks had armed himself with Officer Rolfe’s stolen taser and then aimed it at Officer Brosnan.

Stupid. It was all so stupid, from start to finish. And that’s why they burned down Wendy’s — because Stupid Lives Matter.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!



2 Responses to “‘Suicide by Cop’: Why Did They Burn Down Wendy’s Over This Bulls**t?”

  1. LinkSwarm for June 19, 2020 « Lawrence Person's BattleSwarm Blog
    June 19th, 2020 @ 8:16 am

    […] does burning down a Wendy’s help anyone’s […]

  2. News of the Week (June 21st, 2020) | The Political Hat
    June 21st, 2020 @ 8:46 pm

    […] “Suicide by Cop”: Why Did They Burn Down Wendy’s Over This Bulls**t? The Rayshard Brooks Memorial Bonfire […]