Garrett Rolfe, the Atlanta police officer charged with shooting and killing Rayshard Brooks, has been cleared by the Atlanta Civil Service Board to return to policing duty. The board announced its decision to reinstate Rolfe on Wednesday (May 5).
“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. Therefore, the Board GRANTS the Appeal of Garrett Rolfe and revokes his dismissal as an employee of the APD [Atlanta Police Department],” the board writes.
Rolfe was fired from the Atlanta police department on June 13, the day after he fatally shot Brooks outside of a Wendy’s. As reported by REVOLT, Rolfe and another officer responded to the scene after a report that Brooks had fallen asleep in his car in the drive-thru.
Brooks reportedly failed a sobriety test and offered to leave his car in the parking lot and walk home, ABC 7 reports. However, police instead attempted to take Brooks into custody and a struggle ensued, resulting in Rolfe shooting Brooks in the back as he ran away with the other officer’s stun gun. Brooks later died in surgery at a nearby hospital.
Rolfe’s attorney petitioned the Atlanta Civil Service Board to have the ex-cop’s firing reversed last month. Though the board has reinstated Rolfe, he is still facing 11 charges related to Brooks’ death, including felony murder and several counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
According to its statement, the board only considers the appeals of fired city employees and is not responsible for determining whether or not Rolfe’s “actions were criminal in nature.” In their decision, the board noted that Rolfe did not receive a 10-day notice before his termination.
“In this case, the effective date of the discipline was June 14, 2020, and the (notice of proposed adverse action) and the (notice of final adverse action) were issued to the Appellant’s Union Representative at virtually the same time on June 13, 2020. As such, the City’s actions were not compliant with the 10 days prior notice period as required by the Code,” the statement reads.
It’s unknown whether or not Rolfe will be allowed to return to street duty.