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Atlanta officer fired over fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks reinstated by board

Rayshard Brooks' death at the hands of police ruled a homicide
Posted at 8:26 AM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 11:52:47-04

ATLANTA, Ga. — Garrett Rolfe, an Atlanta police officer who was fired after shooting and killing Rayshard Brooks last summer, has been reinstated by the Atlanta Civil Service Board.

The board released its decision Wednesday, stating:

"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."

Rolfe was fired on June 13, the day after Brooks was fatally wounded outside of a Wendy's restaurant.

Surveillance video and footage from police body and dashboard cameras show officers arrived at the Wendy's to find Brooks asleep in his car. After a brief discussion, Brooks was submitted to a field sobriety test, which he failed.

Brooks offered to lock his parked car and walk home, but police informed him he would be taken into custody. A struggle ensued, and Brooks grabbed Brosnan's stun gun and tried to flee the scene. Rolfe shot Brooks in the back when Brooks pointed the stun gun in his direction. He later died in surgery at an area hospital.

Rolfe sought last month to have his firing reversed in a hearing before the board, though he still faces murder charges in the killing of Brooks.

The board hears the appeals of firings and other employment actions taken against public city employees, saying "specifically, the Board is not charged with determining if the Appellant’s actions were criminal in nature nor will it make any reference thereto."

The board took specific note of the lack of 10-day notice saying, "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 ten days prior notice period as required by the Code."

It is unknown if Rolfe's reinstatement means he will be allowed back on regular patrol duty, or resume employment in some other capacity.

This story was originally published by staff at WTXL.