Garrett Rolfe, the fired Atlanta cop who shot Rayshard Brooks, has been charged with felony murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
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, the fired Atlanta police officer, is now facing 11 charges including felony murder and multiple counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The 27-year-old had a dozen citizens’ complaints against him and was disciplined back in 2016 for use of force with a firearm. It comes amid nationwide outcry and calls from celebrities for his arrest.
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 the June 12 killing of Rayshard Brooks. 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 has been charged with felony murder. 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.
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.