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Atlanta Cop Reinstated After Being Fired For Fatally Shooting Black Man Who'd Been Asleep In His Car

Atlanta Cop Reinstated After Being Fired For Fatally Shooting Black Man Who'd Been Asleep In His Car
Atlanta Police Department; Curtis Compton-Pool/Getty Images

Back in June of 2020 Rayshard Brooks, a Black man sleeping in his car in a Wendy's parking lot, was fatally shot by police officer Garrett Rolfe of the Atlanta Police Department.

Protests took place at that same Wendy's and across the city soon after the news broke, only a few weeks after George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis.

Rolfe was fired two days later on June 14.

But because of an error in writing the discharge paperwork, Rolfe has now been reinstated. According to the appeal statements, Rolfe should have been given 10 days notice of his termination but was only given hours to respond.

Since the dismissal paperwork did not say his firing was an "emergency action" the Atlanta Civil Service Board reversed the decision to terminate Rolfe, who was a seven-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department. According to Rolfe's attorney, Lance LoRusso, Rolfe is no eligible to receive backpay and full reinstatement.

During the hearing over Rolfe's termination before the Atlanta Civil Service Board, Atlanta police Sgt. William Dean said:

"[Rolfe's] hurried dismissal may have been due in part to a press conference that was on the horizon."

Reports say Rolfe will remain on administrative leave. Rolfe has 11 charges still pending against him, including felony murder.

Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta said in defense of firing Rolfe:

"Had immediate action not been taken, I firmly believe that the public-safety crisis we experienced during that time would have been significantly worse."

Though, now with Rolfe reinstated, many people are angered again.

The Brooks' family's attorney Justin D. Miller stated at a press conference after the announcement of Rolfe's reinstatement:

"There has been no compensation for the family. The officer is now back on the force. The officer has not been convicted of any crime."
"So you have a person who is going to stand trial for murder, who is now back on the force and able to do the same things he was doing before that caused him to get off the force in the first place."
"It's ridiculous."

Protests are currently being organized in response to Garrett Rolfe's reinstatement.