Former Atlanta Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Rayshard Brooks Appears In Court

Former Atlanta Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Rayshard Brooks Appears In Court

2:33pm Jun 30, 2020
Former Atlanta police Officer Garrett Rolfe was fired after the shooting death of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks.
Former Atlanta police Officer Garrett Rolfe was fired after the shooting death of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks.
Fulton County, Ga., Sheriff's Office via Reuters

The former Atlanta police officer accused in the killing of Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy's parking lot this month is appearing before a judge Tuesday.

Garrett Rolfe is expected to ask the judge to release him from jail on bond while his case is pending.

Rolfe, who is white, is facing felony murder and 10 other charges in the June 12 fatal shooting of Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man. Rolfe faces a possible sentence of life without parole or the death penalty if convicted.

Rolfe and another officer, Devin Brosnan, were responding to a call that night about Brooks, who fell asleep in the fast-food restaurant's drive-through. Video of the officers' encounter with Brooks showed that the three men interacted for more than half an hour.

Brooks admitted he had consumed alcohol, and police administered a sobriety test, which he failed.

When Rolfe and Brosnan attempted to put handcuffs on Brooks, he was able to break away and take one of their stun guns. As Brooks ran, he fired it back at police.

After giving a brief chase, Rolfe drew his service weapon and fired, hitting Brooks in the back.

Rolfe was swiftly terminated after the shooting.

Brosnan is facing lesser charges and remains with the Atlanta Police Department. Both Brosnan and Rolfe turned themselves in earlier this month.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Rolfe's bond hearing was rescheduled because it conflicted with Brooks' funeral.

Family, friends and celebrities, including hip-hop star and activist T.I., attended the memorial last week at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached.

Bernice King, the daughter of the civil rights icon, told mourners at the funeral that she did not know Brooks but was all too familiar with the pain of his loss.

"I am here to stand with you in what feels like [an] all-too-familiar moment: having a father killed when I was only 5 years of age. My heart deeply grieves," she said. "I know the pain of growing up without a father and the ongoing attention around his tragic loss."

King added, "We really should not be here today. This did not have to happen to Rayshard."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Support your
public radio station