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Officer who shot Rayshard Brooks had use-of-force complaint in 2016

Officer who shot Rayshard Brooks had use-of-force complaint in 2016
© Georgia Bureau of Investigation

The now-former Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot had a prior use-of-force complaint in his disciplinary history.

Garrett Rolfe, the 27-year-old white officer who fatally shot Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, on Friday, had 12 incident reports in his file, according to Atlanta Police Department records.

The use-of-force complaint, related to a firearm incident, occurred in September 2016 and resulted in a written reprimand for Rolfe the following year. No further information related to the complaint was disclosed.

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The other incidents included five vehicle accidents, four citizen complaints and three involving firearms. Of those 12, internal investigations exonerated him in eight cases.

Rolfe, who was on the force for seven years, was issued an oral admonishment for a vehicle accident in October 2014 and another written reprimand for a vehicle accident in 2018. Rolfe was fired after Brooks’s shooting, and Atlanta police chief Erika Shields resigned in the wake of the incident.

Rolfe’s disciplinary records were reported earlier on Tuesday by ABC News.

Officer Devin Brosnan, the initial respondent to the Wendy’s parking lot on Friday, joined the department in 2018 and had no disciplinary history, according to multiple reports. He has been placed on administrative duty pending an investigation into last week’s shooting.

Brosnan initially responded to a 911 call from a Wendy’s employee who said a man was sleeping in a car parked in the drive-thru. According to body camera footage, Brosnan called for backup after waking Brooks up in order to administer a DUI test.

Brooks was initially cooperative throughout his conversation with Brosnan, and when taking the test after Rolfe arrived. A struggle ensued when Rolfe attempted to handcuff Brooks, and according to dashcam and bystander footage, Brooks got hold of an officer’s Taser and began to run away.

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A Georgia Bureau of Investigation release said Brooks turned and pointed the Taser at Rolfe, at which point Rolfe fired at Brooks. He was taken to a hospital, where he died. An autopsy ruled Brooks’s death a homicide.

Brooks’ killing came less than three weeks after a white police officer in Minneapolis killed George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The incident sparked widespread protests against racial injustice across the country.

Neither Rolfe nor Brosnan has been charged with a crime. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said he would decide whether to bring charges against the officers by midweek, according to a statement.