A former Atlanta police officer who was charged in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot was wrongly terminated, according to the Atlanta Civil Service Board.
Lance LoRusso, the lawyer for Garrett Rolfe, the ex-cop, told CNN, “we are very excited that the Civil Board says that due process matters.”
“It is important to note that the CSB did not make a determination as to whether officer Rolfe violated Atlanta Police Department policies. In light of the CSB’s rulings, APD will conduct an assessment to determine if additional investigative actions are needed,” The Atlanta Police Department said in a statement.
On June 12, a few weeks after George Floyd’s death, Brooks and Rolfe got into a tussle at a Wendy’s parking lot after the police were called that a man was sleeping in a parked vehicle, CNN reported.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Brooks failed a field sobriety test and an arrest attempt was made.
“The fight started when they tried to make an arrest … after that, he took a taser and took off,” a witness said at the time, according to CNN.
Protests erupted in Atlanta after Brooks’ death, resulting in the city’s police chief stepping down.
L. Chris Stewart, an attorney for Brooks’ family, said, “We find it mind-boggling that our elected officials and the former chief weren’t aware of the proper procedure to fire an officer,” he said. “So now it is questions of, ‘Was that done to temporarily pacify the protesters and the people around the world that were upset?’
Rolfe still faces a felony murder charge and five counts of aggravated assault, four counts of violation of oath of office and one count of criminal damage to property damage, according to CNN.