The former Atlanta police officer who was fired after fatally shooting Rayshard Brooks last summer is asking to be reinstated.
According to The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Lance LoRusso, an attorney for ex-cop Garrett Rolfe, told the city’s civil service board on Thursday (April 22) that his client’s due process rights were “grossly violated” after he was terminated from the department. He also said that Rolfe was fired “without a proper investigation” one day after Brooks was killed. Erika Shields, who served as Atlanta police chief at the time, did not sign Rolfe’s dismissal form. Instead, Assistant Chief Todd Coyt signed in her place.
Coyt was called to testify at Thursday’s hearing. He said that he believed Rolfe and Officer Devin Brosnan — the other cop who was present during the fatal shooting — “acted accordingly and … were trying to show compassion and did everything they could to calm the situation down.”
However, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms disagreed. Back in June, she told reporters that Rolfe should be terminated and Brooks’ death demanded instant action. “It is clear that we do not have another day, another minute, another hour to waste,” the mayor previously said. LoRusso said the mayor’s needs prevented Rolfe from having enough time to defend himself.
Brooks was shot and killed last June after law enforcement responded to a 911 call stating that he fell asleep in his car at a Wendy’s drive-thru. He reportedly failed a sobriety test and officers tried to take him into custody. He resisted and reportedly stole one of their tasers. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Brooks aimed the taser at the officers before Rolfe fired his weapon.
Rolfe was charged with a total of 11 charges, including felony murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Officer Brosnan was charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of violating his oath. Back in February, Rolfe filed for the charges against him to be dismissed.