We Grew Up With an Officer Involved in Rayshard Brooks’ Murder. We’re Not Surprised.

We rode the school bus with Devin Brosnan. The news made all too much sense.

Emily Joyner and Caroline Joyner


Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

One of the many sickening things about videos of Black people dying at the hands of police officers is that we all more or less know exactly how they will end. There is an eerie familiarity with every single one. Yet we still played that video of Rayshard Brooks. On cue, the insidious feeling we’ve become so accustomed to crept in. Even before the confrontation, even before the gunfire, we knew his fate.

As details emerged, so too did another horrifying feeling. We learned that we knew one of the officers involved in Brooks’ murder, Devin Brosnan. Devin came from our hometown of Southborough, Massachusetts. We rode the school bus with him. But our horror came not from his terrifying proximity; it came from something far more sinister — another eerie familiarity.

In August 2017, white supremacists and neo-Nazis stormed into Charlottesville, Virginia, leading the infamous “Unite the Right” rally. The hateful gathering ended in racist taunting and deadly violence, a clear reminder that white supremacy still pulses through the veins of this country. From that rally came the infamous photo — a sea of white nationalists marching…