The city of Atlanta has reinstated police officer Garrett Rolfe, who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks days after racial justice protests erupted across the United States over the death of George Floyd.
On Tuesday morning, the city’s Civil Service Board announced that Rolfe would be reinstated because the city had failed to give the officer the right to due process. Rolfe was fired the day after the fatal shooting of Brooks. He will now be remaining on administrative leave until the criminal charges against him, which include felony murder, are resolved.
On Wednesday, the board released the following statement:
Due to the City’s failure to comply with several provisions of the Code and the information received during witnesses’ testimony, the Board concludes the Appellant was not afforded his right to due process. Therefore, the Board GRANTS the Appeal of Garrett Rolfe and revokes his dismissal as an employee of the APD.
Rolfe shot and killed Brooks in a parking lot at a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta last June, after Brooks attacked Rolfe and another police officer who were attempting to arrest him after administering a breathalyzer test, which showed that Brooks was driving drunk.
During the scuffle, Brooks seized one of the officer’s tasers and attempted to flee the scene, video footage of the altercation showed.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation found that the video footage of the incident “indicate[s] that during a physical struggle with officers, Brooks obtained one of the officer’s Tasers and began to flee from the scene,” adding that “Officers pursued Brooks on foot and during the chase, Brooks turned and pointed the Taser at the officer. The officer fired his weapon, striking Brooks.”
The authorities’ findings were in line with a report by the New York Times, which reported that Brooks “looks behind him, points the Taser he is holding in Officer Rolfe’s direction, and fires it.”