Officer Garrett Rolfe, who was fired from the Atlanta Police Department after he shot and killed 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks, had a history of citizen complaints leveled against him before the fatal shooting, none of which apparently had adequate action taken, according to CNN.
The complaints against Rolfe go back to 2015, according to the network, and all of those incidents indicate that no action was taken in response. According to the records released by the Atlanta Police Department, a 2016 use of force complaint resulted in a written reprimand in 2017.
The lawyer representing Brooks’s family declared that he was not surprised by the revelation about Rolfe’s history.
“I could have told people, ‘I guarantee you this officer has had issues in the past.’ It’s normally that situation,” attorney L. Chris Stewart said. “You know who causes issues or who has had prior issues or who has had complaints. A lot of them don’t get justified and then they stay on the force.”
The Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, Jr., is considering whether to bring criminal charges—which could range from voluntary manslaughter to murder—against the officer.
“If this had been a civilian, there’s a possibility charges would have been lodged against them already,” Howard acknowledged. “What I think people around the country are saying is, ‘We want one system so that both the police and citizens are treated equally.’ That’s what we are hoping to do by making our decision on Wednesday.”
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who had called for the immediate termination of the officer who shot Brooks, made it clear that in her opinion, the use of force was not justified and called the shooting death a “murder,” according to CBS News.
Bottoms indicated that she would sign a series of administrative orders restricting when an officer can use deadly force, including mandating de-escalation tactics be attempted first before using deadly force, in order to gain compliance and reducing, if not avoiding the use of physical force at all, according to CBS.
The orders will also require Atlanta police officers to only use an objectively reasonable amount of force when apprehending an individual or subduing a resisting individual.
“As we are taking a look at our use-of-force policy through our task force, it became abundantly clear to me that through my executive power, we need to reiterate our desire that there be de-escalation and not immediate use of force when there are other options that are available,” Bottoms said.