An Atlanta police officer was fired following the fatal shooting of a Black man and another officer was placed on administrative duty, the police department announced early Sunday.
The moves follows the Saturday resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, who stepped down as the Friday night killing of Rayshard Brooks, 27, sparked a new wave of protests in Atlanta after turbulent demonstrations following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police had simmered down.
The terminated officer was identified as Garrett Rolfe, who was hired in October 2013, and the officer placed on administrative duty is Devin Brosnan, who was hired in September 2018, according to a release from police spokesperson Sgt. John Chafee.
The police department also released body camera and dash camera footage from both officers.
More than 40 minutes elapses between the time Brosnan first knocks on Brooks’ car door while he’s in Wendy’s drive-thru and when gunshots ring out; Rolfe arrives on scene about 16 minutes in. The shooting is audible in footage from Rolfe’s dash camera and both officers’ body cameras, but wasn’t captured on any of the four recordings provided by police. Both body cameras fall off during the struggle that ensues when Rolfe moves to handcuff Brooks after speaking to him for about 20 minutes, although Brooks is briefly glimpsed being Tased before he’s shot.
Protesters on Saturday night set fire to the Wendy’s restaurant where Brooks was fatally shot the night before and blocked traffic on a nearby highway. The fire was out by 11:30 p.m., but video from local news stations showed it again aflame around 4 a.m. Sunday. Atlanta police said 36 people were arrested at protests as of midnight.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the police chief’s resignation at a Saturday afternoon news conference, and had called for the immediate firing of the officer who opened fire.
“I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force,” Bottoms said.
She said it was Shields’ own decision to step aside and that she would remain with the city in an undetermined role. Interim Corrections Chief Rodney Bryant will serve as interim police chief.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the shooting, said the deadly confrontation started with a complaint that a man was sleeping in a car blocking the restaurant’s drive-thru lane. The GBI said Brooks failed a field sobriety test and then resisted officers’ attempts to arrest him.
Rolfe is seen on body camera video administering the field sobriety test, followed by a Breathalyzer test with Brooks’ permission. He moves to arrest Brooks after the Breathalyzer test; while he doesn’t tell Brooks the result, the machine displays a 0.108 in video captured by Rolfe’s own body camera.
The GBI released security camera video of the shooting Saturday, which does not show Brooks’ initial struggle with police. The footage shows a man running from two white police officers as he raises a hand, which is holding an object, toward an officer a few steps behind him. The officer draws his gun and fires as the man keeps running, then falls to the ground in the parking lot.