Matt Ryan: “Rayshard Brooks should be alive — end of story”

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Another excessive use of force by police happened in Atlanta on Friday night. Another man who did not deserve to die was killed by an officer who performed the role of judge, jury, and executioner in a fit of embarrassment, ego, and adrenaline.

And Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is not happy about it.

“I spent the weekend trying to wrap my head around the killing of Rayshard Brooks,” Ryan posted on Twitter. “To be completely honest, I can’t. Rayshard Brooks should be alive — end of story. We cannot continue to lose lives due to police brutality.

“Atlanta, I see you, I hear you and I’m taking action with my Fund. I’m with you more than ever as we take the next steps in the fight against police brutality and systemic racism. We can and will Rise Up.”

Matt Ryan is right. Rayshard Brooks should be alive.

Questioned by police after he was found asleep in his car in a Wendy’s parking lot, Brooks admitted that he’d been drinking. Brooks had been patted down for weapons. The police had his ID.

But then came a sudden scuffle as Brooks was being cuffed. Was he wrong to resist? Yes. Was he wrong to punch a cop while resisting? Yes. Was he wrong to take one of their Tasers and run away? Yes.

That’s not something that justifies an immediate death sentence to be issued and carried out. Let the guy run. They know where he lives. They can get him later. As someone said on MSNBC the other night, it’s not like a helicopter was about to emerge and take him to Kathmandu.

This is what Colin Kaepernick was talking about in 2016. Those who have the ability to use deadly force need to have the right training and experience to know when to use it, and when not to use it. In this case, unless Brooks had a real gun (not a Taser) pointed at police and was about to pull the trigger, there was no reason to shoot him — especially since the shooting happened in the Wendy’s parking lot with cars in line to get food. Indeed, one of the other cars was struck by a bullet.

To think that this happened as the world demands change in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd makes it even more mind boggling. Guns should be issued only to those who know when use them, and the good cops who understand that should be pissed that idiots and assholes are making all of them look bad by killing people who didn’t deserve to die.

68 responses to “Matt Ryan: “Rayshard Brooks should be alive — end of story”

  1. Good for you Matt. Great to see the players speaking up. The cops in America are out of control and something has to give.

  2. You left out a key fact – him firing the taser at the officer who was chasing him.

  3. So if the officer is tased he is incapacitated meaning the suspect could in theory approach the body and use the officers gun against him. I’m not sure if there are two charges in that taser so perhaps the other officer could still have to tackled the guy but when you go to those lengths you run the risk of this happening. I agree that the better choice would be to just let the suspect go but it’s not always easy to see that clearly when you are threatened and in pursuit. The better choice wasn’t made but understand if you behave like this you are taking your life in your own hands

  4. Not sure about that .cops are trained to meet suspects with +1 level force. Resisted arrest, they tried to pin him, he fights so they try to taser him, he grabs taser and runs away. As he is running he turns and fires it at him, +1 force is now a firearm. They shoot him and he is dead. If he were to take an officer down with a taser that officer could have easily have had his sidearm taken and used against him, other officers and civilians. Had Brooks not been drinking and driving, had he not resisted arrest, had he not assaulted the officers, had he not tried to incapacitate them with the taser then he would probably be alive. Had he just listened he would have been in jail. That’s it.

  5. You know how you get better cops that can react better in this kind of situation? Here are three simple suggestions:

    1. Attract a better quality of candidate to the job by offering better pay and making being a police officer something to be admired.

    2. Create a better selection system so you’re identifying the best candidates and not reducing requirements to get more people through.

    3. Provide better training for a longer period of time.

    Unfortunately, this is exactly the opposite of what mayors, city councils, and protesters are asking for right now.

  6. If you’re a police officer, apparently you have to wait around to get killed before you can react.

  7. You left out a key fact – him firing the taser at the officer who was chasing him.

    If you’re a police officer, apparently you have to wait around to get killed before you can react.

    A taser isnt a lethal weapon. The officer was not in peril and neither was anyone else in the area. Use of deadly force was not warranted.

  8. “ Rayshard Brooks should be alive — end of story.

    No Matt, that is just the beginning of the story. It is important to know the facts.

  9. As a former cop, I can say I have sympathy for the 95+% of policemen and women who do the job right, but none whatsoever for the few who are ill-equipped physically, mentally or emotionally for the rigors of the job. The idiot in Minneapolis was just a mean individual who should have been removed from that department long before he ran across George Floyd; but the cop in Atlanta just got embarrassed that this young man overpowered him and another officer, then got furious when he had the audacity to take his Taser and then the unmitigated gall to actually fire it at him. Believe me, cops are just people, and adrenaline makes you do funny things – but this officer was wrong and Matt Ryan is right: Rayshard Brooks should be alive right now and facing many charges, none of which would justify the death penalty.

    Police Departments should not be defunded; in fact, their budgets should be increased to improve screening and better training on an ongoing basis. And just like the relatively small percentage of protestors who resort to looting, property damage and violence should not result in a dismissal of the obvious need for change, the actions of a few bad cops should not result in the vilification of all police.

  10. Brooks had already been ID’d and frisked, so these officers knew he had no weapons other than the taser he seized. They had not just his ID but his car, so they knew they could locate him later if they needed to.

    Brooks fired the taser in the air as he ran away. He was then shot twice in the back, and the third shot went into a bystander’s car.

    It’s a stressful situation, but I can’t help but wonder about the mindset of the officer here to make him choose, based on all the circumstances at hand, to shoot this man in the back.

  11. I dunno. I was always raised to comply w police.

    Why would he grab his taser? What if he’d grabbed his gun?

  12. Most of the police experts agree that this was not excessive force. I agree that a drunk man who is resisting arrest and shooting a Taser at the officer is in the wrong. Death sentence no, but he made the choice to fight. Most of the time when a cop loses the fight he dies. Nuf said.

  13. The cop had a knee jerk reaction. Sure he took his taser and was running away and turned and fired the taser. There’s no way he deserved to be shot in the back for that.
    The police came to check the guy out. They have the breathalyzer they have the car. The cop had a knee jerk reaction.
    I’m fine with what Ryan said. It needs to change now.

  14. The officer simply should’ve asked the individual if anyone could come pick him up like a family member, this saves the trouble of paperwork, gentleman goes home safe, the end, because it’s about preserving life ain’t it?

  15. You’re right, Matt. He should be alive, however, he made a very, very bad choice. He’s responsible for his death, and he alone….

  16. Brooks was illegally executed by an inadequate and incompetent cop. All the absurd excuses made for the cop don’t hold water.

  17. A question for all those who think the cops were right and did nothing:

    If it was your brother who did the same thing as Brooks and was shot, you’d just shrug and say, “It’s cool. The cops were justified. He shouldn’t have run.”

  18. Wow, we have some brutal, compassionless people in America. Resisting arrest should be an automatic death sentence?

  19. billzbubb says:
    June 15, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Brooks was illegally executed by an inadequate and incompetent cop. All the absurd excuses made for the cop don’t hold water.


    And when were you there? When have you gone though like or similar? You have zero ability to suggest anything you did. I have no idea. I do know that this man, assulted and office, stole one of his weapons and ran off. At then end of he day it’s kinda like Jason Pierre Paul blowing his fingers off with fireworks………..cops have guns. Why give them a reason to even use it. Stupid stupid young man got himself killed by being an absolute idiot. As much as you and Matt Ryan want to blame the cop, blame the idiot that was breaking all the laws and then fired a weapon at an office. Fact is if he just had went to jail he would be alive. HE made bad choices that started the whole thing………………..he did not the cop.

  20. Correct, he should be alive today. He would be alive today if he didn’t resist arrest

  21. Jeez how many times do we have to go over this. Don’t break the law and you won’t have to deal with law enforcement. If you are detained don’t try to resist. Cue the racist accusations in 3..2..1

  22. It’s sad and pathetic to see how many of you think non-compliance with police is a warranted death sentence. That is why they’ve gotten away with it for so long.

  23. Matt Ryan saw what happened to Drew Brees and is just trying to cut off the witch hunt before it starts.

  24. Keep in mind that Brooks has zero training on how to use a taser. It’s only less than lethal when used correctly. He made a decision that was life or death. He now owns that decision. The officer has to deal with taking someone’s life. That is a life long grief even when justified.

  25. I guess the Officer should have stood there and allowed the perp to tazer him? Rayshard Brooks made a series of bad choices ultimately ending with him being shot after forcibly taking a potentially lethal weapon and shooting it at Police Officers. Rayshard is responsible for his actions and this Officer was justifiedin defending himself, fellow Officers and bystanders. End of discussion.

  26. The cop actually reaches for his gun before Brooks points the taser at him. So, when exactly is he in fear for his life?

  27. What if you got too drunk one night and mixed it up with a cop– shot his taser in the air? Would you deserve time be executed while you’re running away? Come on people. What’s it going to take ?

  28. It’s definitely a sad situation, especially on the heels of the George Floyd death. However, I can tell you that the officer followed his training. He used physical force and mechanical force that didn’t work. Ultimately, when the taser was fired at him, he deployed deadly force.

    If you want to argue that the rules of force should be changed, go ahead and do that. But as it stands, the officer responded with a level of force one level higher than what was deployed against him. That’s right out of the use of the training manual which I’m sure we’ll see plenty of when this goes to court.

  29. I think a LOT of you need to become police officers so you can show us all how it’s done.

  30. birdman7210 says:
    June 15, 2020 at 7:20 pm
    The officer simply should’ve asked the individual if anyone could come pick him up like a family member, this saves the trouble of paperwork, gentleman goes home safe, the end, because it’s about preserving life ain’t it?
    Yes. Send the drunk home. And hopefully next week when he is driving drunk again he doesn’t kill you with his car.

  31. Simply put, this is a much more complex matter than Matt Ryan seems to understand and seems to be saying what he thinks his teammates and the public want to hear.

    I don’t totally blame him, but let’s not act like he has any idea what he’s actually talking about.

  32. superica14 says:
    June 15, 2020 at 11:07 pm
    What if you got too drunk one night and mixed it up with a cop– shot his taser in the air?
    I don’t drink, and getting into it with a police officer and taking a weapon from him is not going to ever end well for anyone.

  33. There is a clear disconnect among the group. And it’s actually pretty obvious. We see it every time. One group will say minimize the crimes and say “(insert minimized crime) doesn’t deserve a death sentence”. And I agree. He didn’t deserve to die. BUT, the other side doesn’t ignore his crimes, they also don’t believe he deserved to die. They do however believe he deserved to be shot. And when you are shot, sometimes you die

    It’s actually pretty remarkable that there is such a dramatic distance between the two positions. One group believes in law and order. The other group believes that he should have been free to go, without so much as a citation. Remarkable. I also bet that none of you cop haters would live in a police free zone though. Lol

  34. If the same Matt Ryan were a long-time NHL player, I doubt he’d be saying anything. Hard to know how sincere anyone is this month. Ask Drew Brees.

  35. Matt Ryan sucks at QB. He should join the Atlanta PD and make a difference in his community.

  36. I don’t think anybody is saying resisting arrest equals the death penalty. But if we stick to the facts it is a justifiable shooting. During the riots 6 Atalanta police officers where fired and the DA charged two of them with aggravated assault. The two charged with the aggravated assault used tasers, and this is why they got that charge. Under Georgia law in under to get aggravated assault one of several things must be meet. Non of those things fit except using a deadly weapon, so that is what the DA used. In other words the Atalanta DA has made it clear that a taser is a deadly weapon.

    The same DA is reviewing this case, if he goes but the law the way he sees it than the officer was meet with deadly force and used deadly force in return. So there should be no charges.

    I am not going by what I think, I am going by the facts of what happened and how the DA is running his office. If he decides that a cop using a taser is deadly force but a taser used by a criminal against a cop is not deadly force they might as well just deband the police department there.

  37. In Georgia a tazer is a lethal weapon according to the law. So a lethal weapon was fired an officer. Officer was justified in his actions. Stop thinking with emotion and use logic.

  38. If he was still alive he would be sitting in a prison cell for the next 15-20 years. Not much of a life.

  39. Brooks threw his own life away by wrestling with a cop, stealing a taser and aiming it at a cop. That is beyond dumb.

    I can be troubled by the George Floyd killing and believe he was the victim while also believing that Rayshaud Brooks acted idiotically and was only a victim of his own choices.

  40. Attempt at a non-offensive name says:
    June 15, 2020 at 11:36 pm
    birdman7210 says:
    June 15, 2020 at 7:20 pm
    The officer simply should’ve asked the individual if anyone could come pick him up like a family member, this saves the trouble of paperwork, gentleman goes home safe, the end, because it’s about preserving life ain’t it?
    Yes. Send the drunk home. And hopefully next week when he is driving drunk again he doesn’t kill you with his car.

    I lost someone to a drunk driver and guess what? it was their 3rd Dui and had no business legally being near a bar and got what? less than 2 years, so you keep spouting that law and order garbage and see how it works out for you, because oh they didn’t mean to hit somebody, it was an accident..

  41. I think what happened to George Floyd is unreal, this was murder….cut and dry. However, not all of these incidents are the same. This man was actively resisting arrest, assaulted a police officer, stole property from the officer, then USED not attempted to use…USED said taser on the officer. I am sorry, having been former military, and law enforcement this officer did what anyone would….and should have done. So many things change once the accused is armed. Also side bar….The same people complaining about “it was just a taser” ok I bet I will find your user names on blogs about how tasers are more dangerous than they say…..Everything is something to complain about. I’m sorry he is gone, it is unfortunate, however no laws, or policies were broken here.

  42. Brooks was terribly reckless but once he shot that taser, it became impossible to use again without stopping and reloading it. They are single shot only because the wire connecting the handle to the cartridge. So he got shot in the back and killed running away with a dummy weapon.

  43. As a black man, I cannot blame the cops for this one. Two weeks ago Atlanta cops pulled a young lady out the car and tased her. That taser was ruled a lethal weapon. Fast forward to this latest incident, “the victim” attempted to shoot an armed officer with a lethal weapon. Officers are people with families as well. They can argue self defense but I agree with Matt Ryan that Rayshard Brooks should be alive. There was no reason a routine stop should have escalated like it did.

  44. For a the “but he had a taser” people. He did have a taser and nothing else and the two cops knew it because they had already patted him down. A taser is not a deadly weapon, especially in the hands of a fleeing man. So using deadly force in a situation where the cops lives were 100% at risk is unacceptable. Just because a guy resists arrest it doesn’t make it okay to abuse the force or power you have. The police have the responsibility to keep everyone safe and that includes people they are apprehending. They also need to keep themselves safe and they do get to defend themselves but in this situation they chose deadly force in a scenario where they knew without a doubt their lives were not at risk.

  45. And this is the police officers fault how ? He told the guy to resist arrest steal a taser and use it while trying to esape.

  46. Why people cant understand a police taser is single shot? Once he shot it was a dummy weapon.

    Him drunk and running would have been able to reload the cartridge and all? Thats if the gun doesnt need a electric recharge. Not an expert.

  47. I agree. The drunk should have been released and allowed to kill one of your relatives on the highway.

  48. Rayshard Brooks turned to fire on the office. How was that officer to know that Rayshard didn’t have a gun on him. Yes, he stole a taser, but that does not mean that was the only weapon Rayshard had at this disposal. A suspect that has wrestled with officers, thrown punches, stolen a taser and then turns in a shooting motion does not get the benefit of the doubt. The officer, all officers, have a split second to decide what to do when someone turns to fire on them. In the officers shoes, I would have done the same thing.

  49. It’s amazing how these career criminals with multiple felonies are all made out to be the victims. Brooks didn’t want to go back to jail and he knew it wouldn’t just be for the DUI and felony assault on officers but from his past felonies that were still pending.

  50. It’s interesting to see how many respondents are inferring that it’s ok to not comply with the police! Brooks was out of jail, only because of the corona virus! He was serving 7 years for beating his kids! So, he gets caught, he knows he’s going back to prison! Probably the reason he chose not to go voluntarily!
    Strange group of people, the police haters make into “heroes”!

  51. I agree with Matt Ryan, Mr. Brooks should still be alive, but it is because of his own actions that he is not. I’ve read a lot of articles online and several comments on this site saying that the officers should have allowed a family member to come pick him up. Let me ask this, what if the officers allowed a family member to pick him up and then after they get home he decides to take the keys to that family members vehicle and gets in a crash and kills an innocent person? The officers, the department, and the city would all be sued for failure to act and an innocent person lost their life. Sure, this is a what-if scenario, but what if’s happen all the time. What if Mr. Brooks had decided not to drive drunk? What if Mr. Brooks decided to comply with the lawful commands given to him. What if Mr. Brooks didn’t actively resist and steal a taser and then run and fire that taser at the officers? What if Mr. Brooks had allowed the officers to do their job and arrest him on suspicion of DUI and had just gone to jail? He would still be alive and out of jail.

    Also, not all Tasers are single shot. They’re single cartridge, but some can load multiple, active cartridges at one time. So, for the people that think it was a “dummy weapon” it most certainly wasn’t. Plus, you don’t need a cartridge for a Taser to be effective. They have a drive stun option that doesn’t need a cartridge. A Taser can leave an officer incapacitated which could potentially allow a suspect the ability to obtain their service weapon and use it against the officer.

    As a police officer I have worked with a few people that shouldn’t be in law enforcement, but 99% of the people that I serve with are good people that want to protect their communities and go home to their families. They are not out to harm people. The bad apples absolutely need to be removed from duty, but all officers should not be judged by the action of a few, just like all civilians should not be judged based on the actions of few.

    Bottom line, comply with lawful commands, even if you feel that you didn’t do anything wrong. You’ll get your opportunity to explain, whether that’s to the detaining/arresting officer, or a judge. But it’s better to comply than to actively resist and make things that much worse for yourself. It isn’t rocket science.

  52. I love how all these people that have never put on a badge and dealt with criminals tell everyone else how they should have reacted. This use of force was absolutely justified. Is a cop supposed to get shot a few times before he can return fire? The guy took the taser and could use it against them, thereby rendering them incapacitation and taking their firearm. Why would you let it get to that point? The left moans about wanting cops to be better and different. I think that everyone can agree that we want better training and better candidates. The problem is that if you look at the leadership in charge of these cities, they want to remove money from the police, make them work longer hours with poor pay, and to top it off, do nothing but berate them and make the criminals seem like the heroes. It’s disgusting that this generation has done nothing but cultivate entitlement. Now you have officers leaving in droves because they just don’t want to deal with it. How is that garnering better candidates. Low pay, long hours, and leadership and media that doesn’t have your back is just pushing away great candidates.

    It would be nice to run these Monday morning Quarterbacks through a stress course where they could actually be injured. No way they react the way they want officers to react.

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