Who is Garrett Rolfe? Atlanta police officers Who shot Rayshard Brooks
Garrett Rolfe has been identified as the Atlanta police officers who has been fired after the Friday night killing of a 27-year-old African American man, Rayshard Brooks. Brooks was shot in the parking lot of Wendys Fast food restaurant.
Rolfe was hired in October 2013 while his partner, Devin Brosnan placed on administrative duty is. He was hired in September 2018, according to a release from police spokesperson Sgt. John Chafee.
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields stepped down on Saturday
On Saturday, June 13th, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields stepped down. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the police chief’s resignation at a Saturday afternoon news conference and had called for the immediate firing of the officer who opened fire. “I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force,” Bottoms said. She said it was Shields’ own decision to step aside and that she would remain with the city in an undetermined role. Interim Corrections Chief Rodney Bryant will serve as interim police chief.
Shields, Atlanta’s police chief for under four years, was initially praised in the days following Floyd’s death. She said the officers involved should go to prison and told demonstrators she understood their frustrations and fears. She appeared at Bottoms’ side as the mayor made an impassioned plea for protesters to go home when things turned violent with smashed storefronts and police cruisers set ablaze.
GBI released the Dash Camera Footage
The GBI released security camera video of the shooting Saturday, which does not show Brooks’ initial struggle with police. The footage shows a man running from two white police officers as he raises a hand, which is holding an object, toward an officer a few steps behind him. The officer draws his gun and fires as the man keeps running, then falls to the ground in the parking lot.
More than 40 minutes had elapsed between the time Brosnan first knocks on Brooks’ car door while he’s in Wendy’s drive-thru and when gunshots ring out; Rolfe arrives on the scene about 16 minutes in.
The shooting is audible in footage from Rolfe’s dash camera and both officers’ body cameras but wasn’t captured on any of the four recordings provided by police. Both body cameras fall off during the struggle that ensues when Rolfe moves to handcuff Brooks after speaking to him for about 20 minutes, although Brooks is briefly glimpsed being Tased before he’s shot.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the shooting, said the deadly confrontation started with a complaint that a man was sleeping in a car blocking the restaurant’s drive-thru lane. The GBI said Brooks failed a field sobriety test and then resisted officers’ attempts to arrest him.
Rolfe is seen on body camera video administering the field sobriety test, followed by a Breathalyzer test with Brooks’ permission. He moves to arrest Brooks after the Breathalyzer test; while he doesn’t tell Brooks the result, the machine displays a 0.108 in video captured by Rolfe’s own body camera.
GBI Director Vic Reynolds said Brooks had grabbed a Taser from one officer and appeared to point it at the officer as he fled. The officer fired an estimated three shots.
Protesters Set Fire on Wendy’s Restaurant on Saturday
A new wave of protests in Atlanta have emerged after turbulent demonstrations following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police had simmered down.
Protesters on Saturday night set fire to Wendy’s restaurant where Brooks was fatally shot the night before and blocked traffic on a nearby highway. The fire was out by 11:30 p.m., but video from local news stations showed it again aflame around 4 a.m. Sunday. Atlanta police said 36 people were arrested at protests as of midnight.
Brooks’ family Statements
L. Chris Stewart, an attorney for Brooks’ family, said the officer who shot him should be charged for “unjustified use of deadly force, which equals murder.” “You can’t have it both ways in law enforcement,” Stewart said. “You can’t say a Taser is a nonlethal weapon … but when an African American grabs it and runs with it, now it’s some kind of deadly, lethal weapon that calls for you to unload on somebody.”
He said Brooks was a father of four and had celebrated a daughter’s eighth birthday Friday before he was killed.
The shooting came at a time of heightened tension over police brutality and calls for reforms across the U.S. following the May 25 death of Floyd in Minneapolis.
Demonstrators, including members of Brooks’ family, gathered Saturday outside the restaurant where he was shot. Among those protesting was Crystal Brooks, who said she is Rayshard Brooks’ sister-in-law.
“He wasn’t causing anyone any harm,” she said. “The police went up to the car and even though the car was parked they pulled him out of the car and started tussling with him.”
She added: “He did grab the Taser, but he just grabbed the Taser and ran.”
Officer involved shooting last night in Atlanta, GA (District 5) I grew up in this neighborhood. It’s time to have the conversation! RESISTING arrest, excessive force, & justified shootings😞 this young man is deceased. #RayshardBrooks #Atlanta #Police #District5 pic.twitter.com/MSogObtUZF
— Angela Stanton King 🇺🇸 (@theangiestanton) June 13, 2020