Cop Charged With Murder Sees His Firing Reversed

Board rules that Garrett Rolfe was wrongly terminated after shooting Rayshard Brooks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2021 12:21 PM CDT
Cop Charged With Murder Sees His Firing Reversed
In this June 12, 2020 screen grab taken from body camera video provided by the Atlanta Police Department Rayshard Brooks speaks with Officer Garrett Rolfe in the parking lot of a Wendy's restaurant, in Atlanta.   (Atlanta Police Department via AP, File)

Garrett Rolfe, the Atlanta police officer fired and charged with felony murder after shooting Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy's parking lot last year, has seen that firing reversed. The Atlanta Civil Service Board has ruled that Rolfe was wrongly terminated the day after the Black man's death, CNN reports. The board said the city failed to comply with several sections of the Atlanta City Code and "the information received during witnesses’ testimony," per NBC. It concluded Rolfe had not received due process and reversed his firing. At a hearing two weeks ago, Rolfe's attorney, Lance LoRusso, said the officer had been hastily fired "without a proper investigation" and had not been given time to prepare a defense.

Atlanta police Sgt. William Dean testified that he was unaware of any other officers who were fired for an alleged firearms violation without an investigation taking place. "He further stated that the hurried dismissal may have been due in part to a press conference that was on the horizon," per the AP. Rolfe—who faces 10 other charges, including aggravated assault—shot Brooks in the back after the man allegedly pointed a Taser he had grabbed from another officer in his direction. Prosecutors say Rolfe also kicked Brooks as he lay on the ground. LoRusso says the 28-year-old officer will not be returning to work despite being reinstated, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Bond conditions prevent him from possessing a firearm or being around other officers and so he will be put on administrative leave. (Read more Garrett Rolfe stories.)

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