Garrett Rolfe: Atlanta police officer accused of killing Rayshard Brooks moved from jail over security concerns
Rolfe was moved from the Fulton County Jail to another facility in metro Atlanta
ATLANTA, GEORGIA: Hours before he was scheduled to appear in court on Friday, June 19, Garrett Rolfe, the Atlanta police officer accused of killing Rayshard Brooks, was transferred from prison to a different facility over security concerns.
Rolfe faces felony murder and ten other charges in Brooks' death, following the shooting at a Wendy's drive-through last week. He was terminated from the police force following the incident that started a fresh wave of anti-racism protests in the country, which was already reeling with the death of another black man, George Floyd, who was killed after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest on May 25.
Three law enforcement sources told CNN that Rolfe was moved from the Fulton County Jail to another facility in metro Atlanta. Although the exact details behind the move were not known, the sources said that the move was made for security reasons. The move came a day after Rolfe turned himself in on Thursday, June 18, and was being held without bond. He had also waived his right to appear at the court on Friday, June 19, although attorneys were still expected to appear before a judge in the afternoon.
Brooks was allegedly shot dead by officer Rolfe in a parking lot at a Wendy’s outlet on Friday, June 12, night. It was reported by the investigators that Brooks had a tiff with Rolfe and another officer, Devin Brosnan, before he took one of their tasers and fled while pointing it at Rolfe. The latter then shot back at Brooks with his sidearm, killing him. While Rolfe was dismissed from the force the next day, June 13, Brosnan was placed on administrative leave pending an internal probe. Like the Floyd case, a video of Brooks’ killing also surfaced.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which was probing the shooting, said the confrontation between Brooks and the police officers started after the cops responded to a complaint that a man was sleeping in a car that was blocking the restaurant’s approach lane. The bureau said Brooks failed a sobriety test and then took on the officers as they tried to arrest him. The black man was a father of four and celebrated one of his kids’ eighth birthday before meeting his end.
Brosnan is charged with one count of aggravated assault for allegedly standing on Brooks' shoulders as he lay dying in the parking lot. Brosnan also faces two counts of violation of oath of office. He also turned himself in on June 18 and was released on a signature bond. He said in an interview with MSNBC, that he had "full faith" in the criminal justice system. "I think this is a tragic event and it's... a total tragedy that a man had to lose his life that night," he said. "My initial encounter with him, I felt he was friendly. He was respectful... He seemed like someone who potentially needed my help. I was really just there to see what I could do for him, make sure he was safe."
However, Brosnan's attorney, Don Samuel, said that while his client was going to meet with the Georgia Bureau investigators next week, he was not going to answer the district attorney's questions while they bring 'false charges' against him. Samuel further added that Brosnan briefly put his foot on Brooks' arm to make sure he did not have access to his firearm and later performed CPR on him and did his best to treat his wounds.
In an interview with CNN, the district attorney reiterated that he expects Brosnan to cooperate with prosecutors. "I realize that this young man is ... getting a lot of pressure from a lot of groups and some of his colleagues," Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said. "My expectation is when we move to the next level, I would expect him to follow through with what he has already promised."