The Atlanta police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks last June has been reinstated to duty. Officer Garrett Rolfe was terminated immediately after the shooting, but petitioned to get reinstated late last month.
The city’s Civil Service Board ruled Wednesday (May 5) that “due to the City’s failure to comply with several provisions of the Code and the information received during witnesses’ testimony [Rolfe] was not afforded his right to due process,” ABC News reported.
Rolfe’s attorney, Lance LoRusso, accused city officials of rushing Rolfe’s termination and didn’t get the officer adequate notice of his firing. The city’s code dictates that an employee who is to face “adverse action” has to have 10 working days notice before the date the adverse action goes into effect. Rolfe fatally shot Brooks June 11, and was terminated June 12.
Brooks’ killing came just weeks after the murder of George Floyd, and fueled ongoing protests. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. said at the time that Brooks was running away from officers when Rolfe fatally shot Brooks in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant.
Members of Brooks’ family expressed “disappointment” and “confusion.”
“It is disappointing to the family but what is more important is the question we have now. We all heard the mayor and the former chief of police come before the world and announce they were firing the officers and justice will come,” L. Chris Stewart, one of the attorneys representing the Brooks family said. “We find it mind-boggling our elected officials and former chief weren’t aware of the proper procedure to fire an officer.”
Justin Miller, another Brooks family attorney, said they will be looking to see if the city fires Rolfe, “because that’s what should have happened in the first place.”
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