Garrett Rolfe, an Atlanta police officer who is currently charged with murder, has had his dismissal from the force overturned after originally being fired last June. “Due to the City’s failure to comply with several provisions of the Code and the information received during witnesses’ testimony, the Board concludes the Appellant was not afforded his right to due process,” the board said in its five-page decision Wednesday, May 5. “Therefore, the Board grants the Appeal of Garrett Rolfe and revokes his dismissal as an employee of the APD.”
As ESSENCE reported last week, Sgt. William Dean had testified that the firing seemed rushed, and that Rolfe was not given sufficient time to respond. Dean also said that he was not aware of any such termination of an officer for an alleged firearms violation without the department first conducting an investigation. “He further stated that the hurried dismissal may have been due in part, to a press conference that was on the horizon,” it says.
Police responded on June 12, 2020 to complaints that Brooks had fallen asleep in his car in the drive-thru lane of a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant. The released body camera footage shows the late 27-year-old Black man struggling with two white officers (Officer Devin Bronsan was said to have stood on Brooks’ shoulders after the shooting occurred) after they told him he had too much to drink to be driving and tried to arrest him. Brooks grabbed a Taser from one of the officers and fled, firing it at Rolfe as he ran.
An autopsy later revealed that Brooks was shot twice in the back from at least 19 feet away.
Rolfe, who faces charges including murder, and Brosnan, charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath, are free on bond. Lawyers for both officers have said their clients acted appropriately.
The case still has not been scheduled for a trial.