Officer Garrett Rolfe of the Atlanta Police Department has his job back — even though he still faces eleven criminal charges, including felony murder, in the death of Rayshard Brooks, whom he shot and killed during a confrontation on June 12, 2020.
Rolfe and his partner, Officer Devin Brosnan, were called to a Wendy’s restaurant after Brooks, 27, allegedly fell asleep in his car in the drive-thru lane. Brooks allegedly failed a breathalyzer test and was found to be above the legal alcohol limit.
Officers spoke with Brooks for more than 40 minutes before attempting to arrest him. Brooks resisted, grabbing one of their Tasers and firing it. Rolfe, who had also apparently fired his Taser, fired his gun at Brooks, hitting him. Brooks later died.
A riot broke out later that evening, and the Wendy’s was set on fire and destroyed. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned shortly thereafter. (She now leads the police department in Louisville, Kentucky, where Breonna Taylor was killed.)
Officer Brosnan was later found to have suffered a concussion during the altercation with Brooks. He, too, faces criminal charges, including aggravated assault and violation of oath. Rolfe was fired from the police force on June 13.
Brooks became one of the iconic victims of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Meanwhile, Rolfe’s family was targeted for retaliation; his stepmother was reportedly fired from her real estate job without explanation. But Rolfe fought back, challenging his dismissal and suing Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and new Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant. Police officers supported him, with some 170 reportedly walking off the job in protest against his prosecution.
On Wednesday, the City of Atlanta’s civil service board found that Rolfe’s rights were violated because he was not given ten days’ notice before being fired, and was not provided with an explanation of why his firing qualified as an “emergency action,” nor given an opportunity to respond. Moreover, there had been no proper investigation prior to his termination.
Rolfe’s attorney told the Washington Post: “We are very pleased at this action and consider it the first step in the total vindication of Officer Garrett Rolfe.” Rayshard Brooks remains an icon of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, We Told You So!: The First 100 Days of Joe Biden’s Radical Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
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