Ex-Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe has been charged with felony murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks.
UPDATE (6/18/20, 4:00 p.m. ET): Garrett Rolfe was booked into Fulton County Jail at 3:18 p.m. on June 18. He has been charged with felony murder, four charges of violation of oath by police officer, criminal damage to property in the first degree, four charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and aggravated assault. No bond for bail was posted.
UPDATE (6/17/20, 7:14 p.m. ET): Although both Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan have been charged in Rayshard Brooks‘ death, the attorney for the latter officer revealed that Devin hasn’t agreed to be a “state’s witness.” The attorney provided the following statement to MSNBC (see below): “To be clear – Devin is cooperating with the Fulton County District Attorney’s investigation. He met with the assistant district attorney and investigator yesterday and answered their questions. He turned over his phone. He is in the process of providing medical records and photographs of his injuries. He has NOT agreed to be a ‘state’s witness’ or to testify in any court hearing or to plead guilty to any charge.”
ORIGINAL: Rayshard Brooks, 27, was tragically killed by police during a confrontation at a Wendy’s drive-thru — and the ex-cop who shot him has been charged with felony murder. Garrett Rolfe, 27, the fired Atlanta police officer, is now facing 11 charges, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced on June 17. The charges include felony murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, which carry a maximum sentence of life without parole or the death penalty. It comes amid nationwide outcry and calls from celebrities for his arrest, following the tragic June 12 shooting.
These charges follow the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, who also died at the hands of police, and put the Black Lives Matter movement in the global spotlight. Thousands of people across the country, and around the world, have taken to the streets in protest since Floyd’s death on May 25, and many are now speaking out about Rayshard Brooks’ tragic killing. The young man died after he was checked for a DUI in the Wendy’s drive-thru and attempted to run, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Here are 5 things to know about Garrett Rolfe.
1. Garrett could face the death penalty. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced on June 17 that the former cop would face 11 charges, including felony murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Paul Howard said the maximum sentence for felony murder, should he be convicted, was life without parole or the death penalty. Officer Devin Brosnan, who was at the scene with Garrett, was also charged with aggravated assault, for standing on Rayshard’s body after he was shot. However, the DA said that Devin was co-operating with investigators and will testify on behalf of the state, in the cast against Garrett.
2. He had 12 citizens complaints against him. Garrett was the subject of 12 complaints during his seven year tenure on the police force, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was exonerated in nine of the 12 internal investigations for a range of incidents including vehicle accidents to citizens’ complaints, according to city records cited by the paper. Garrett received a verbal and written reprimand for two vehicle accidents, while an incident involving the use a firearm back in 2015 did not have a conclusion listed in the files. He also faced disciplinary action for a use-of-force incident which involved a firearm, Atlanta Police Department records show. The incident occurred in September 2016, according to NBC News.
3. Garrett yelled “I got him” after shooting Rayshard. Bodycam footage of the incident showed Rayshard Brooks talking calmly with Garrett and his partner, before they tried to handcuff him. When the 27-year-old attempted to run, Garrett shot him in the back, then shouted “I got him,” according to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard. “There’s one good thing about video,” the DA told CNN on June 13. “In the video we actually get a chance to hear the officer’s first statement after the shooting took place. And what the officer said is not that his life was saved. What his statement was, he said: ‘I got him’.”
4. He was fired after the incident. Garrett was swiftly fired by the Atlanta Police Department after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the shooting was not “a justified use of deadly force”. The city’s police chief also quit on June 13 as protesters took to the streets in outrage.
5. Celebs have called for his arrest. Rapper T.I, 39, was filmed addressing the crowd at a rally in Atlanta on June 12. “I don’t give a damn what your opinion is of the person. I don’t give a damn what he did,” he said through a megaphone. “The man didn’t deserve to die like that. And any policeman out here who stands behind that s**t you’re in trouble too, man.” Killer Mike, 45, also spoke out about getting justice for Rayshard. “#RayshardBrooks should be alive this morning. He should be waking up (hungover or drunk in the tank depending on whether he was apprehended) and not dead,” Mike wrote on Instagram. “If I’m the Wendy’s worker who called the police, I feel like sh*t this morning because a call for a man sleeping in a car should not have ended with his killing.