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Judge grants bond to ex-Atlanta cop charged with Rayshard Brooks murder

2 min read
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2020/06/30/ex-atlanta-cop-garrett-rolfe-heads-court-rayshard-brooks-death/3284331001/

ATLANTA — The former Atlanta police officer charged with fatally shooting Rayshard Brooks can be released on bond, a judge ruled Tuesday. 

Fulton County Judge Jane Barwick said she does not believe Garrett Rolfe is a flight risk or would intimidate witnesses. 

Barwick set Rolfe’s bond at $500,000. Conditions of the bond include wearing an ankle monitor, honoring a 6 p.m.- 6 a.m. curfew with the exception of work, medical or legal obligations, surrendering his passport, not possessing any firearms, and not having contact with any witnesses or Atlanta police officers.  

Garrett Rolfe, who was fired from the department after the incident, was charged with 11 counts, including felony murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. 

Authorities say Rolfe shot Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, twice in the back in a Wendy’s parking lot near downtown Atlanta on June 12. 

Atlanta Police Department officers Devin Brosnan, left, and Garrett Rolfe. Both were involved in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks.

Rolfe and Officer Devin Brosnan were responding to a call about Brooks being asleep in his car in the drive-thru lane. Brooks failed a sobriety test and officers tried to handcuff him.

Videos from the scene show Brooks wrestling with the officers and taking one of their Tasers. Brooks aimed the Taser at the officers while running away. The video shows an officer aim his gun at Brooks before Brooks falls to the ground. 

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said video evidence shows Rolfe kicking Brooks “while he laid on the ground, fighting for his life.” Officers did not provide medical assistance to Brooks for more than two minutes after he was shot which is required by the department’s policy, Howard said. 

Rolfe’s attorneys say the former officer feared for his and others’ safety and was justified in shooting Brooks. 

“Mr. Brooks violently attacked two officers and disarmed one of them. When Mr. Brooks turned and pointed an object at Officer Rolfe, any officer would have reasonably believed that he intended to disarm, disable or seriously injure him,” the lawyers said in a statement earlier this month. 

The shooting sparked protests, one of which turned violent when the Wendy’s was set on the fire the night after the shooting. 

A private funeral for Brooks, who was a married father of three daughters and a stepson, was held last week in Atlanta. 

Contributing: Joel Shannon of USA TODAY

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