ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10/CNN) — Garrett Rolfe, the former Atlanta police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot, was wrongly terminated, the Atlanta Civil Service Board has ruled.
“We are very excited that the Civil Board says that due process matters,” Lance LoRusso, attorney for Garrett Rolfe, told CNN in a statement. He added that Rolfe’s reinstatement will likely take some time, but his intentions are to get his client back to work.READ MORE: Gov. Kemp Announces Medical Technology Company Intuitive Expanding In Gwinnett County, Adding Approximately 1,200 Jobs
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom said in a statement, “Given the volatile state of our city and nation last summer, the decision to terminate this officer, after he fatally shot Mr. Brooks in the back, was the right thing to do. Had immediate action not been taken, I firmly believe that the public safety crisis we experienced during that time would have been significantly worse.”
The fired Atlanta Police officer faces a felony murder charge in the shooting of Brooks last June.
Rolfe is also charged with five counts of aggravated assault, four counts of violation of oath of office and one count of criminal damage to property.
Rolfe’s attorneys maintained the former cop was legally justified and acting in self-defense when he shot and killed Brooks, 27, who wrestled with police and took the Taser of Officer Devin Brosnan during the scuffle.
Video of the June 12 incident, which the defense has called the most valuable evidence in the case, showed Brooks running away and pointing the Taser behind him as Rolfe fired the fatal shots.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard alleged at the time that Rolfe kicked Brooks after the shooting and Brosnan stood on top of him. An attorney for Rolfe has denied his client kicked Brooks.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming Soon?
Fani Willis, who defeated Howard in last year’s election, sought to recuse her from prosecuting Rolfe. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr denied the request.
Brosnan was charged with aggravated assault and he was released on bond.
Rolfe’s bond was set at $500,000 and he was eventually released from the Gwinnett County jail.
Judge Jane C. Barwick said Rolfe was not a danger to the community or a flight risk.
Brooks’ death, two weeks after the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody last May, sparked protests across Atlanta, and the city’s police chief stepped down less than a day after the shooting.
The arrests of the two officers was followed by days in which a large number of Atlanta officers called out sick from work.MORE NEWS: Southeastern U.S.: A Rainy Week Ahead
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