Judge Grants Bond for Ex-Atlanta Cop Charged in Rayshard Brooks Killing

Rayshard Brooks speaks with Officer Garrett Rolfe in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta on June 12, 2020, before Rolfe fatally shot Brooks. (Atlanta Police Department)

ATLANTA (CN) — A Georgia judge on Tuesday granted a $500,000 bond for the former Atlanta police officer charged with the murder of Rayshard Brooks in a fast-food parking lot.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jane Barwick made her decision during a hearing held via Zoom Tuesday afternoon, saying that she does not believe that Garrett Rolfe, 27, is a flight risk.

Barwick also said she does not think Rolfe poses a significant risk of committing another felony or intimidating witnesses in the case while he is out of custody.

Rolfe’s bond is not without conditions. He must surrender his passport, wear an ankle monitor at all times, submit to a curfew and avoid contact with Brooks’ family or any witnesses in the case. He is also barred from possessing or carrying firearms and cannot have contact with Atlanta police officers.

Garrett Rolfe. (Fulton County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

The decision came after Brooks’ widow, Tomika Miller, testified and pleaded through tears for the judge to deny bond.

“I say no to it,” Miller said. “Because mentally, I’m not able to handle it.”

Miller said Brooks’ death has turned her life “upside down” and told the court that she should not have to “live in fear.”

“I can’t even go outside my house now because so many people say hateful things,” she said. “My husband wasn’t perfect but he didn’t deserve to die.”

L. Chris Stewart and Justin Miller, attorneys representing the Brooks family, said the family is disappointed in the judge’s ruling.

“While the family of Rayshard Brooks is disappointed that his killer was granted bond today, they understand that this is just one step in the long quest for justice for Rayshard,” they said.

Prosecutors charged Rolfe, a white man, with felony murder, aggravated assault, and multiple violations of his oath of office earlier this month for shooting Brooks, a black father of four, twice during an attempted arrest in a Wendy’s parking lot on June 12.

Police arrived at the fast-food restaurant after receiving complaints that Brooks was asleep in a car that was blocking the drive-thru line. A breath test revealed that Brooks was intoxicated.

Brooks was cooperative with police for over 40 minutes before Rolfe attempted to arrest him. When Rolfe grabbed Brooks to place him under arrest for DUI, Brooks struggled, grabbed a Taser that belonged to another officer at the scene, and allegedly fired it at the officers as he ran away.

Rolfe fired three shots after Brooks ran across the parking lot, fatally striking him twice in the back. The officer was terminated shortly after the incident.

Brooks’ death, which was captured on multiple cameras, set off a chain of events in Atlanta which culminated with the resignation of the city’s police chief and the burning of the Wendy’s where the killing occurred by protesters.

At a press conference announcing the charges, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said Rolfe kicked Brooks as he laid on the ground and said, “I got him.”

Howard said neither Rolfe nor the other police officer on the scene, Devin Brosnan, attempted to provide Brooks with medical aid.

Brosnan, who reportedly admitted to standing on Brooks’ shoulder, faces three charges, including violation of his oath of office and aggravated assault.

The felony murder charge against Rolfe carries a possible sentence of death or life imprisonment without parole. Brosnan could face between one and 20 years in prison for the aggravated assault charge.

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