Fight over who will prosecute Rayshard Brooks case takes unusual turn

ATLANTA — The legal fight over who’s going to prosecute the two police officers charged in connection with Rayshard Brooks’ death has taken an unusual turn.

Brooks’ death at the hands of police sparked weeks of protests in Atlanta.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher has learned that a judge will review in private the evidence for removing the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.

Fulton DA Fani Willis asked Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr to find someone else to prosecute the highly controversial cases because she says her predecessor compromised the independence of the office.

Carr said no, but now Judge Christopher Brasher has directed Willis to show him what evidence she has to convince him why her office should be removed.

“He’s a good judge. He’s a levelheaded judge. I’m sure Judge Brasher’s trying to do what’s right, but I’ve never seen this before. Never,” said former Attorney General Mike Bowers.

Bowers hired now-Judge Brasher to work for him when he was attorney general.

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Brasher now faces the potentially controversial decision of deciding whether Willis can step away from the prosecution of the Brooks case.

Willis said she still believes her office should not prosecute the officers and that she’s happy to have Brasher to make the call.

“I, as a sitting district attorney, believe that I have some serious ethical concerns, and I wanted a superior court ordering me to do something that I believe is contrary to the rules of ethics. And so, quite frankly, it was a way to make sure that it I get to keep my bar license and still comply with his honor,” Willis said.

“The judge can do just about anything. The question then becomes would that stick, given that it would most likely be appealed,” Bower said.

And if a decision on a district attorney is appealed?

“It could take quite a while because the appellate process is not something that occurs overnight or in a week, a month. It takes a good bit of time to get that done,” Bowers said.

As attorney general, Bowers faced many cases in which he appointed a special prosecutor.

He told Belcher that he has never a seen district attorney get turned down when she asked to have the office recused from a case, but he said explicitly that he is not criticizing Carr because he doesn’t know all of the facts in this case.