Atlanta officer Garrett Rolfe was fired after fatally shooting Rayshard Brooks. He had recently been trained in de-escalation tactics and cultural awareness.

rmahbubani@businessinsider.com (Rhea Mahbubani)
·3 min read
garrett rolfe rayshard brooks
The Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe shot Rayshard Brooks on Friday as the 27-year-old Brooks ran away in a Wendy's parking lot.

Atlanta Police Department

  • The encounter between Rayshard Brooks and two police officers at a Wendy's in Atlanta began peacefully but quickly escalated once the two officers tried to place Brooks in handcuffs.

  • When Brooks took off running, the officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan chased him, and Rolfe opened fire, killing Brooks.

  • Rolfe was fired from the department, while Brosnan wound up on administrative leave.

  • Rolfe had undergone some 2,000 hours of police training, including attending courses in de-escalation tactics, cultural awareness, and the use of deadly force, THV11 reported.

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Two Atlanta police officers responded on Friday night to a complaint of a man asleep in his car at a Wendy's drive-thru.

The interaction between Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, and the officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan began peacefully. But Brooks failed an alcohol breath test and tried to resist arrest, getting into altercation with the pair, snatching a Taser from one of them, firing it at them, and trying to run away, as seen on footage from the officers' body cameras and surveillance.

Rolfe fired three shots, fatally striking Brooks.

The Fulton County medical examiner's office said in a statement that Brooks' death had been ruled a homicide, The New York Times reported. The official cause of death was listed as "gunshot wounds of the back" that caused "organ injuries and blood loss."

A charging decision is expected soon, but District Attorney Paul Howard told CNN on Sunday that Brooks "did not seem to present any kind of threat to anyone, and so the fact that it would escalate to his death just seems unreasonable."

Rolfe was fired from the department, and Brosnan was placed on administrative duty on Sunday.

According to the CBS affiliate THV11, Rolfe had recently completed training in de-escalation techniques.

He had been on the force for seven years, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

His personnel record also showed that he had completed 2,000 hours of police training, which included a cultural-awareness course in April and another on the use of deadly force in January. Rolfe had also attended multiple tactical team operations and firearms trainings, THV11 said.

The report says the Atlanta police commended Rolfe in May 2019 for his role in the department's High-Intensity Traffic Team Unit, which is tasked with reducing "traffic-related injuries and fatalities" and clamping down on "alcohol and drug-related traffic offenses by focusing on traffic enforcement related to alcohol and/or drug-impaired drivers," according to the agency's policy manual.

In the year leading up to receiving the award, Rolfe earned a silver pin for making 50 to 99 DUI arrests, THV11 reported.

The Atlanta Police Department did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comments or records.

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