Meghan McCain Criticizes Escalation in Rayshard Brooks Killing: 'I've Been Drunk at Wendy's and Wasn't Shot'
"I think we need to focus on training in de-escalation for the police department," The View co-host said
"I think we need to focus on training in de-escalation for the police department," McCain, 35, said. "That seems to be a huge issue here. This case is so sad because he wasn’t armed and he was in his car. ... He was running way."
Brooks, 27, was shot during a struggle with Atlanta police after he was found sleeping in his car in the drive-thru lane of a Wendy's, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is conducting an independent investigation into the shooting.
During the physical struggle after he resisted arrest during a sobriety check, Brooks obtained one of the officer's tasers and began to run away. The officers followed Brooks on foot, and during the chase Brooks pointed the taser at the officers. Garrett Rolfe then shot Brooks, who later died at the hospital after undergoing surgery, according to the GBI.
"I hope this doesn’t sound trite, but I’ve certainly been drunk at a Wendy’s before, and I wasn’t shot," McCain said.
McCain then compared the treatment of Brooks to that of Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine Black men and women in a racially motivated attack on a historically Black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.
"So I don’t understand how we’re going from different situations where some shooters are, literally after committing massacres — Dylann Roof, I believe was brought through a fast-food restaurant on his way to being arrested and taken down to the police department," McCain said, "And another person who is in his car and trying to do the right thing —and he offered to walk home — is then in, a few moments being shot three times."
The Charlotte Observer reported in 2015 that police "bought [Roof] food from a nearby Burger King" while he was being questioned.
McCain added: "We need to focus on the specific form of training of de-escalating instead of militarizing and escalating."
McCain's co-host Joy Behar agreed.
"I don't really understand why the cops can't be trained to take a different tack with people," Behar, 77, said. "He did not have a weapon. Okay, he was pointing a taser at them. It's still not a deadly weapon. There's no reason to shoot the guy dead. My God. He has children, he has a wife, he has family."
"Even if the fact pattern comes out that he had a taser, a taser is just not a deadly weapon. And the autopsy shows that he was shot twice in the back," Sunny Hostin said, explaining that the Supreme Court has found that fleeing the scene or running away is "not a justifiable use of deadly force."
"I don't really think this is a close call at all," Hostin, 51, said.
Rolfe, the officer who shot Brooks, was fired from the Atlanta Police Department over the weekend, and police chief Erika Shields stepped down from her position, saying in a statement that "it is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve."
Devin Brosnan, the other officer involved in the shooting, was placed on administrative duty, CNN reported.