Former Officer in Rayshard Brooks Shooting Death Sues Mayor and Police Chief Over His Firing

Rayshard Brooks
AP

A former Atlanta police officer who is facing murder charges in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks is suing the city’s mayor and police chief, claiming that his firing violated his constitutional rights.

Garrett Rolfe was fired on June 13 after he fatally shot Brooks, who had been found sleeping inside his car in a  Wendy’s parking lot in Atlanta the night before. Rolfe claims in his lawsuit, which was filed in the Fulton County Superior Court on Friday, that he was fired “without an investigation, without proper notice, without a disciplinary hearing, and in direct violation of the municipal code of the City of Atlanta.”

Rolfe faces 11 charges in connection with the case, including, felony murder and aggravated assault, and other charges including violating police procedures. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Prosecutors alleged that when police arrived at the Wendy’s, Brooks was asleep in the drive-thru lane of the fast-food chain. Brooks spoke with police for 41 minutes and 17 seconds before running away, and was "calm" and "cordial," body cam footage showed, authorities said.

Rolfe and Devin Brosnan, another officer on the scene, said Brooks resisted being arrested for DUI, grabbed an officer's Taser and fired at them before Rolfe fired two rounds at Brooks.

Prosecutors said the non-lethal Taser did not constitute an "imminent threat" to the officers' lives and that the shooting violated department procedures for firing a duty weapon.

Also, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, said Brooks was never informed that he was under arrest for DUI, and only struggled with the officers when they tried to put him in handcuffs.

Brosnan, 26, is also charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath and is also free on bond.

Rolfe's lawsuit, obtained by the Daily Report, claims that his use of deadly force was “within the scope and course of his duties” in response to “Brooks' violent, unlawful, aggressive resistance to a lawful arrest.” He also noted that he has the right to due process. The police chief who fired Rolfe, Erika Shields, resigned the day of his firing.

An autopsy determined Brooks died from being shot twice in the back. Rolfe is asking to have a hearing to be reinstated. Rolfe was granted $500,000 bond June 30, but on Tuesday prosecutors filed a motion to have his bond revoked after they said his ankle monitor showed he was in Daytona Beach, Florida, without permission.

"The Bond Order ... expressly states that the Defendant is only allowed to leave home for medical, legal, or work related obligations. Thus, (the) Defendant has clearly shown that he will not abide by the conditions of bond imposed by the Court," the motion said.

Rolfe's attorney's did not respond to Inside Edition Digital's request for comment. 

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