Former Atlanta Police officer Garrett Rolfe and his former colleague officer Devin Brosnan, both charged in connection with Rayshard Brooks’ shooting death, turned themselves in Thursday, June 18.
Rolfe, who was fired from the Atlanta Police Department after the shooting, turned himself in to Fulton County Jail on Thursday afternoon, according to WSB-TV. Earlier in the day, Brosnan turned himself in and bailed out of jail. The pair had until 6 p.m. Thursday to surrender to authorities. Brosnan is currently out on a $50,000 signature bond. Rolfe remains in jail without bond. He since has been moved to a neighboring county’s jail in Gwinnett County, Georgia.
Brooks died on June 12 following an altercation with Rolfe and Brosnan. The incident occurred after an employee at a southwest Atlanta Wendy’s restaurant called 911 to report a car was blocking the drive-thru lane. When officers arrived at the University Ave. location, they found Brooks asleep at the wheel of the car. He was cooperative while he spoke to Rolfe and Brosnan and took a field sobriety test. Brooks failed the test and the pair tried to arrest him. A scuffle ensued and during the struggle Brooks snatched one of the officers’ stun guns. Once he had it, he took off running across the parking lot. He pointed the Taser at the officers before Rolfe fired three shots, two of which hit Brooks in his back and the other hit a nearby vehicle. He later died at a local hospital.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced charges against Rolfe and Brosnan on Wednesday, June 17, and ordered that they turn themselves in by Thursday at 6 p.m. Brosnan is charged with an aggravated assault charge and two counts of violation of oath of office. Rolfe received 11 charges, including felony murder, criminal damage to property, aggravated assault and violation of oath of office.
Howard said Rolfe exclaimed “I got him” immediately after firing and hitting Brooks. Howard also said Rolfe kicked Brooks and Brosnan stood on Brooks’ shoulders as he lay dying on the pavement. The district attorney noted that Brooks “never presented himself as a threat” and seemed “almost jovial” while speaking to Rolfe and Brosnan. He also said the suspects failed to inform Brooks that he was under arrest for DUI.
“When we examined the videotape and in our discussions with witnesses, what we discovered is during the two minutes and 12 seconds, Officer Rolfe actually kicked Mr. Brooks while he laid on the ground, while he was there fighting for his life,” Howard said at a news conference on Wednesday. “Secondly, from the videotape, we were able to see that the other officer, Officer Brosnan, actually stood on Mr. Brooks’ shoulders while he was there struggling for his life. “
These newly revealed details upset Tomika Miller, Brooks’ widow.
“I was very hurt,” she said after the announcement. “I felt everything that he felt just by hearing what he went through. And it hurt. It hurt really bad.”
After Howard’s announcement, there were rumors several Atlanta Police officers walked off their shifts and would not respond to calls. APD denied the rumors, but admitted there had been more call outs than usual.
“Earlier suggestions that multiple officers from each zone had walked off the job were inaccurate,” APD tweeted. “The department is experiencing a higher than usual number of call outs with the incoming shift. We have enough resources to maintain operations & remain able to respond to incidents.”
CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” host Chris Cuomo asked Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms about the alleged walkouts on June 17, and she assured him the city has things under control.
“We do have enough officers to cover us through the night,” Bottoms said. “Our streets won’t be any less safe because of the number of officers who called out.”
International Brotherhood of Police Officers spokesman Vince Champion said there was a protest, but it was not backed by the union. He said it was an expression of frustration.
Champion continued, “What it actually is is officers protesting that they’ve had enough and they don’t want to deal with it any longer.”
On Thursday, The Atlanta Police Foundation announced it would pay a $500 bonus to every working APD officer to thank them for their service, according to WSB-TV. The bonuses add up to more than $2 million and will not be funded by the city at all.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation into the shooting.