Officer charged with killing Rayshard Brooks asks court to modify bond, calls arrest politically motivated

ATLANTA — The officer who has been charged with shooting and killing Rayshard Brooks is now asking a judge to modify his bond.

Attorneys for Atlanta police Officer Garrett Rolfe filed the motion Friday asking the court to “remove the conditions that he have a curfew from 6:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m., that he cannot possess a firearm, that he not have contact with City of Atlanta Police Officers, that he wear an ankle monitor, and that he not be allowed to leave the State of Georgia.”

Police body cameras showed Rolfe and another officer, Devin Brosnan, having a calm and respectful conversation with Brooks for more than 40 minutes after complaints that the 27-year-old man 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.

That’s when Rolfe shot Brooks, killing him. An autopsy found Brooks was shot twice in the back.

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Last week, the Atlanta Civil Service Board reversed Rolfe’s termination from the Atlanta Police Department saying Rolfe was not afforded his right to due process.

The board, however, made no rulings or comment on whether the shooting of Brooks was justified.

Rolfe currently faces 11 charges, including felony murder. He was granted a $500,000 bond on June 30.

In the motion filed last week, Rolfe’s attorneys called his arrest “politically motivated by Paul Howard’s bid for re-election.”

“It is rare that a person is arrested for murder, without any law enforcement investigation, at the direction of the District Attorney who conducts a press conference that not only violates the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, but also misinforms the public as to the facts of the case, uses the arrest as part of his political campaign, ends up being investigated by the GBI for his misuse of Grand Jury subpoenas in this case, gets voted out of office, and creates such an ethical mess, that the newly elected District Attorney decides to disqualify herself from the handling of the case,” the motion said.

Rolfe’s attorneys claim in the motion that “there is now proof that many of Paul Howard’s statements to the public, and his Assistant District Attorneys’ statements to this Court during the bond hearing, were not accurate, omitted exculpatory facts, and could have impacted this Court’s decision to impose restrictive conditions of bond.”

The motion says the court should modify Rolfe’s bond because he “acted in accordance with state law and his training, that he was legally justified in using deadly force, that he is not a risk of flight, that he is not a danger to the community (and) that he is not a danger to commit additional crimes.”

Following his reinstatement last week, the Atlanta Police Department released a statement, saying:

“The Civil Service Board (CSB) has reversed the termination of officer Garrett Rolfe only on the basis that they were not done in accordance with the Atlanta City Code. It is important to note that the CSB did not make a determination as to whether officer Rolfe violated Atlanta Police Department policies. In light of the CSB’s rulings, APD will conduct an assessment to determine if additional investigative actions are needed.

Because officer Rolfe has criminal charges related to this incident, he will remain on administrative leave until those charges are resolved.”

So far, the judge has not made a ruling on the motion to modify Rolfe’s bond.