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Atlanta officer initially fired over fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks reinstated

The Atlanta police officer who was fired for fatally shooting Rayshard Brooks during an attempted DUI arrest has been reinstated after a review by the city’s Civil Service Board.

Officer Garrett Rolfe and his partner Devin Brosnan responded to a call on June 12 2020 about an allegedly intoxicated person asleep at the wheel in a Wendy’s drive-thru. Police stated that Brooks failed a sobriety test and struggled with officers when they attempted to cuff him. “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,” the board said in a five-page decision. “Therefore, the Board grants the Appeal of Garrett Rolfe and revokes his dismissal as an employee of the APD.”

Rolfe was fired one day after the shooting. The Civil Service Board said Rolfe was not given 10 days’ notice of his firing, which is required under the city’s code. The board noted that its “sole mission is to determine if the City’s imposition of an adverse employment action complied with the Code.” The shooting happened just weeks after George Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody, fueling widespread protests across the country. The night after the shooting, the Wendy’s where Brooks was shot was set on fire.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Wednesday defended her decision to fire Rolfe. “Given the volatile state of our city and nation last summer, the decision to terminate this officer, after he fatally shot Mr. Brooks in the back, was the right thing to do,” Bottoms said in a statement. “Had immediate action not been taken, I firmly believe that the public safety crisis we experienced during that time would have been significantly worse.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NEWSWEEK

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