ATLANTA – A judge on Tuesday said that the former Atlanta police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks can be free on bond while his case is pending.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jane Barwick said she would set a $500,000 bond for Garrett Rolfe, who faces charges including felony murder in the killing of Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man. The shooting by the white officer happened against the backdrop of demonstrations nationwide over police brutality and systemic racism after George Floyd died under a Minneapolis officer’s knee.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
ATLANTA – The former Atlanta police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks is set to appear in court Tuesday to ask a judge to release him from jail while his case is pending.
Garrett Rolfe, who is white, faces felony murder and other charges in the killing of the Black man, which happened amid nationwide demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism following the death of George Floyd under a Minneapolis officer's knee.
Police body cameras showed Rolfe and another officer having a calm and respectful conversation with Brooks for more than 40 minutes after complaints that Brooks had fallen asleep in his car in a Wendy's drive-thru lane on June 12.
But when officers told him he’d had too much to drink to be driving and tried to handcuff him, Brooks resisted. A struggle was caught on dash camera video. Brooks grabbed one of their Tasers and fled, firing the Taser at Rolfe as he ran away.
An autopsy found Brooks was shot twice in the back.
Rolfe was fired and the other officer, Devin Brosnan, was placed on desk duty. The police chief stepped down less than 24 hours after the shooting.
Rolfe, 27, now faces 11 charges in all, and has a bond hearing scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. Felony murder is punishable by a minimum sentence of life in prison. Brosnan, 26, is charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath.
Lawyers for both men have said their actions were justified.