A former Atlanta police officer charged in the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks outside of a Wendy’s restaurant in June has filed a lawsuit against the interim police chief and the mayor over his termination. His lawsuit was filed the same day that prosecutors filed a motion to revoke his bond over an alleged travel violation.
In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, Garrett Rolfe argues that he was improperly fired on June 13, one day after Brooks’ death, because there had been no investigation or pre-disciplinary hearing and he did not receive proper notice. This violated the city’s municipal code and his constitutional rights, the suit claims.
Rolfe has been charged with 11 counts, including felony murder and aggravated assault. His suit argues, however, that his use of deadly force was lawful and in response to Brooks, who was Black, having displayed “violent, unlawful, aggressive resistance to a lawful arrest.”
Brooks, 27, was fatally shot after police were called to the Wendy’s over reports of a man sleeping in his car in the restaurant’s drive-thru lane. After taking a sobriety test and being questioned by officers, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said he ran away while pointing a Taser at one of the officers.
An autopsy concluded that Brooks was shot twice in the back. His death has been listed as a homicide.
Rolfe’s suit also takes issue with the fact that the second officer at the scene, Devin Brosnan, has not been fired, and was instead placed on administrative duty. Brosnan has been charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath. Like Rolfe, he is free on bond.
Rolfe is “entitled to receive equal treatment under the law as compared to other officers who are similarly situated,” states the lawsuit, which requests a judge to hold a hearing and to order his immediate reinstatement with back pay, seniority and other benefits.
Prosecutors on Tuesday meanwhile filed a motion to revoke Rolfe’s bond, citing a Florida beach trip he allegedly took that violated the terms of his release.
Rolfe’s bond order “expressly states that the Defendant is only allowed to leave home for medical, legal, or work-related obligations,” the motion says, according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press.
Prosecutors said they are not aware of him having received permission to travel. Rolfe “has clearly shown that he will not abide by the conditions of bond imposed by the Court,” they said in the motion.
A representative with the Atlanta Police Department declined to comment to HuffPost on Wednesday, citing the pending litigation.
By David Aaron
November 21, 2020