ATLANTA—An ex-police officer, Garrett Rolfe, sued Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and interim police chief, Rodney Bryant, Tuesday, August 4, 2020.
In the lawsuit, Rolfe claims that he was fired “without an investigation, without proper notice, without a disciplinary hearing, and in direct violation of the municipal code of the City of Atlanta,” according to the lawsuit first revealed by the Daily Report.
Rolfe, 27,was fired June 13th of this year, the day after he fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, who was 27 as well. Wendy’s workers called the police, reporting a man sleeping in the drive thru and blocking the line. The officer first at the scene was Devin Brosnan, who tried to wake up Brooks multiple times with no avail. Brosnan smelled alcohol on Brooks, causing Brosnan to call a DUI certified officer. When Brooks was finally woken, he was given a sobriety test, which he failed. Video evidence, provided by the officers’ dash and body cams show Brooks resisting arrest and heavily avoiding being put in hand-cuffs. Brooks broke free of restraints and managed to get a taser from Officer Brosnan. According to his attorney, Brosnan sustained a concussion during the struggle. He then proceeded to run through the Wendy’s parking lot. He turned and shot the stun gun at Rolfe. This is when Rolfe fired two shots at Brooks’ back, ultimately causing his death later that night at the Grady Memorial Hospital where he was taken 6 minutes after he was shot.
Rolfe faces 11 charges, including felony murder. Brosnan was charged with aggravated assault and 3 violations of his oath for stepping on Brooks with his boot, not providing ample aid to Brooks in a timely fashion, and for holding the victim down after he was shot. Brosnan was released on $50,000 bail after turning himself in.
When the dash cam footage was released, a national uproar followed. With the death of George Floyd less than a month prior, protests became even more prevalent. Former Chief Erika Shields, who fired Rolfe, resigned on the day the lawsuit was filed.
According to the lawsuit, Rolfe fired his weapon “within the scope and course of his duties” due to “Brooks’ violent, unlawful, aggressive resistance to a lawful arrest.” The lawsuit also speaks of Brosnan and other Atlanta officers still being able to work while their charges are pending.
Rolfe wants to be back on the force along with the want to receive back pay and other benefits due to the fact that he believes that he was wrongfully fired by Mayor Bottoms and Chief Bryant who are named as the defendants in the lawsuit. He requests that there be a hearing.
Prosecutors are arguing for the revocation of Rolfe’s $500,000 bond after they were notified by Rolfe’s attorneys of him taking a vacation to Florida. They say that this is a violation of bond restrictions and that he is not to leave his home unless deemed necessary.
Rolfe’s lawyers have not replied to any requests for comments.