Fulton County DA on how he'll decide whether to bring charges in Rayshard Brooks' death

District attorney to consider charges in Brooks' death
District attorney to consider charges in Broo... 02:14

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she's ordering a series of reforms following the death of Rayshard Brooks, the 27-year-old who was shot and killed by police on Friday night.  The changes come as there are new questions about what could — and should — have been done to spare Brooks' life. 

Brooks was asleep in his car at a Wendy's drive-thru when he was approached by police. He asked if he could walk home — but after failing a sobriety test, officers tried to handcuff him. He was shot twice in the back after he grabbed one of the officers' Tasers and took off running. 

The officer who shot Brooks has been fired, and the city's police chief has stepped down. Prosecutors said they'll decide by Wednesday if they will file charges. 

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. said that his decision on whether to bring charges will depend on whether the officers believed that Brooks posed a threat — even as he was running away. 

Investigators have been closely examining the tape, and say the critical moment is when the shots are fired. 

"Should the officers have felt threatened by that Taser?" asked CBS News.

"It's not a lethal weapon, it's a non-lethal weapon," Howard responded. 

But use of force cases aren't clear cut — even when there's video, like in this case. 

Jason Johnson, the former deputy commissioner of the Baltimore City Police Department, said the use of force was "probably not necessary." 

"However, the big caveat is that if he was able to use a Taser...  There's always a potential he could incapacitate the officer," Johnson added. 

Regardless of the outcome, Howard said these types of cases further erode public trust. 

"People from our community, my own son — they do not trust the police," he said. 

"Your own son?" CBS News asked. 

"Doesn't trust the police," he said. "My son is 25, he came and asked me, he said, 'Daddy, are the police gonna do something to me?'" 

When asked how difficult it is to charge a police officer with murder or felony murder or manslaughter, considering he needs to work with law enforcement officials on a day-to-day basis, Howard said he thinks "we have to make a change in this country." 

"I think that we as prosecutors have got to quit offering that excuse," he said. "One of the most important things that a prosecutor can do is to charge a policeman. If you can't charge a policeman, you shouldn't be a prosecutor in the first place." 

"The prosecutor should not serve as a right arm of police. A prosecutor should be independent of the police. And I think that in this country, we've got to move away from that old model," he added.