*An earlier report noted that Garrett Rolfe, former Atlanta Police Department officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot, sued Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to get his job back.
Rolfe filed a lawsuit against the mayor and the city interim police chief Rodney Bryant. He claims his June 13th firing violated his constitutional right to due process. The ex-officer feels officials violated a law that states there should be an investigation, notice, and a hearing before firing him.
In the complaint, Rolfe insists Brooks became violent before the shot that claimed his life. He also explained that he was “within the scope and course of his duties.” Appearing before Atlanta’s Civil Service Board Thursday, Lance LoRusso, an attorney for Rolfe, noted that his client was dismissed “without a proper investigation” by the city one day after Brooks’ death, per The Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
Chief Todd Coyt testified that Rolfe and Devin Brosnan, the other officer who responded to the incident with Brooks, “acted accordingly and … were trying to show compassion and did everything they could to calm the situation down.”
In Atlanta on 6/12/20 white officer Garrett Rolfe fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, 27, twice in the back!
White officer Devin Brosnan stood on Brooks’ shoulder as he struggled for his life!
Rolfe has been charged with murder!
Brosnan has been charged with aggravated assault! pic.twitter.com/76932W6UvU
— James Aymann (@AymannJames) April 15, 2021
Back in June, Mayor Bottoms said Rolfe should be fired over the fatal shooting of Brooks.
During the virtual hearing on Thursday, Rolfe asked to be reinstated on the police force. He pleaded the 5th Amendment to any question related to his June 2020 encounter with Brooks.
“He was not given an opportunity to respond, and the city violated ordinance after ordinance,” LoRusso argued. “We are asking you to reinstate him, provide his back pay, restore him to his full duty.”
The city’s counsel says Brooks violated policy by using unnecessary force with Brooks. Brosnan has been suspended without pay since last summer.
During his testimony, Coyt was asked what he would have done differently.
“I believe that I would have tried to walk Mr. Brooks back to the vehicle, closer to the vehicle so if he did try to run or fight, I would have been able to use the car as some type of barrier. I could have pushed him into the car instead of being in a wide open parking lot,” Coyt explained. He added he thinks the officers “acted accordingly” and that they were “trying to show compassion” and “were not overly aggressive.”
According to reports, the civil service board will deliberate and make a decision within 15 days.