Garrett Rolfe has been identified as the now-fired Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks June 12, according to local TV news station WSB-2. Rolfe has been a member of the Atlanta Police Department for roughly seven years, according to Insider.
On June 17, the Fulton County District Attorney announced 11 criminal charges against Officer Rolfe, who shot Brooks, and three charges against Officer Devin Brosnan, who was also at the scene. The DA said that Rolfe kicked Brooks after Brooks was down and that Brooks was initially cooperative with officers. He said Brosnan stepped on Brooks after Brooks was shot. Rolfe could face the death penalty if convicted. He faces a felony murder charge among other accusations.
The DA said that Brooks was 18 feet, 3 inches away and running away when Rolfe shot him.
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) June 17, 2020
You can watch the DA’s press conference announcing the charges here:
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rolfe Was Part of A Special DUI Enforcement Task Force
Last year, Rolfe was part of the APD’s High-Intensity Traffic Team Unit and won a pin for making 50-99 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests — the same offense for which Brooks was accused of committing.
According to the APD, “The HITT Unit works to reduce the number of traffic-related injuries and deaths in the City of Atlanta, especially involving impaired drivers.”
Rolfe and four other officers were honored at the 15th Annual Mothers Against Drunk Driving Golden Shield Honors.
Rolfe was also listed on the Chestney & Sullivan law firm website as part of a grant-funded governor Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) unit.
2. Rolfe Joined the APD In 2013
Rolfe, along with another officer, were the recipients of a $626 donation towards his education; the promotion was from private personal injury Attorney Ken Nugent, who promised to donate $2 for an officer’s education for every yard that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan passed for.
There is a Garrett Rolfe listed on LinkedIn as a student at Georgia State University.
Rolfe joined the Atlanta Police Department in 2013 after completing the training academy, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also reported that Rolfe had taken a nine-hour course on de-escalation options on April 24 and on January 8, he received training on the use of deadly force at the DeKalb County police academy.
Rolfe had 12 complaints during his time with APD, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, with some for car accidents, citizens complaints and only one for excessive use of force; of those 12, he was exonerated for nine.
3. A Wendy’s Surveillance Camera Shows Rolfe and Brooks’ Last Moments Before Brooks’ Death
Rolfe and another officer, David Bronsan, showed up to the scene of a Wendy’s after receiving a complaint that Rayshard Brooks was sleeping at the drive-thru, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI).
According to Buzzfeed, in one video, a witness said they saw police talking to Brooks for 20 minutes before the shooting:
“I saw you all talking to him for 20 minutes,” the person recording said. “Unarmed. Non-violent. Nothing wrong with how he conducted himself whatsoever, and you pull a f*cking gun dude?”
4. Rolfe and Bronsan Struggled with Brooks Before Brooks Ran
— Eric Wasserman 🦆 "WASS" (@EricWasserman1) June 13, 2020
A 35-second video tweeted by Eric Wassserman, shows Brooks stiffening his left arm and refusing to allow the officer in front of him to push the arm behind his back; an officer behind Brooks is holding Brooks’ torso. The scuffle on the ground ends when Brooks stands with something yellow in his right hand that appears to be a taser and one of the officers points a similar-taser-like item at Brooks.
Brooks begins running away from the officers, past the camera and out of the frame, while the other two officers chase him.
Video from the Wendy’s where the incident took place picks up after the three men run out of the frame of the first video and shows Brooks running. He turns around for a second, then turns his body away from the officer again. At the same time, the officer nearest to Brooks appears to have his arm raised.
Video taken after the arrest show the officers standing over the body. A photo also shows Rolfe kick Brooks while he is down on the ground and Bronsan admitted to standing on Brooks’ body, according to the DA.
5. The Mayor Called for Rolfe To Be Fired, A Local News Station Reported
Officer Garrett Rolfe has been terminated by Atlanta PD in the Officer-involved shooting of #RayshardBrooks. He had been on the job since 2013, according to Atlanta PD. #AtlantaShooting pic.twitter.com/wOO8m8Xc1S
— Stephanie Wash (@WashNews) June 14, 2020
According to local TV news station WMAZ-13, the mayor called for the officer who fired his weapon to be fired.
The Atlanta Police Department later announced that the officer who shot Brooks was fired before releasing his name — Rolfe was fired the day after the shooting took place and the other officer on the scene, Bronsan, has been placed on administrative leave.
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields also stepped down and she released a statement:
For more than two decades, I have served alongside some of the finest men and women in the Atlanta Police Department. Out of a deep and abiding love for this City and this department, I offered to step aside as police chief. APD has my full support, and Mayor Bottoms has my support on the future direction of this department. I have faith in the Mayor, and it is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.