Rayshard Brooks opened up about struggles of life after incarceration in an interview before his death

Hours after a fired police officer was charged with felony murder for fatally shooting Rayshard Brooks in the back, Atlanta police officers are not responding to calls in three zones, multiple sources within the Atlanta Police Department told CNN on Wednesday evening.
Hours after a fired police officer was charged with felony murder for fatally shooting Rayshard Brooks in the back, Atlanta police officers are not responding to calls in three zones, multiple sources within the Atlanta Police Department told CNN on Wednesday evening. (Courtesy Stewart Trial Attorneys)

(CNN) – "You get treated like an animal."

Those were the words of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks who was shot and killed by an Atlanta police officer this month. Brooks spoke those words in February, just a few months before his death, during an interview he gave to a company called Reconnect, which focuses on fighting incarceration.

The company had posted an ad on Craigslist, looking for people to share their stories about navigating the criminal justice system, and Brooks answered the call.

CNN obtained the 40-minute interview with the help of CNN's Political Commentator Van Jones, who said a colleague in the criminal justice field entrusted it to him.

In the video, it's clear Brooks is searching for redemption and a better life.

He reflects on life behind bars and speaks openly about the struggles he faced after making the "mistake" that put him there.

"I just feel like some of the system could, you know, look at us as individuals. We do have lives, you know, was just a mistake we made, you know, and, you know, not, not just do us, as if we are animals. You know lock us away."

Brooks told the interviewer he was arrested for false imprisonment and financial credit card fraud. He said his public defender told him he could get 10 years, so he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year in prison.