Former Atlanta Police Department officer Garrett Rolfe filed a lawsuit against Atlanta Democrat Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and interim police Chief Rodney Bryant this week to get his job back, saying that his firing was unconstitutional.
Rolfe filed the suit on Tuesday in Fulton County Superior Court after he was fired earlier this summer and charged with 11 counts, including felony murder, in the death of Rayshard Brooks at a Wendy’s restaurant back in June.
His lawsuit states that his use of force against Brooks, who fired a taser at Rolfe as he ran away from police, “was proper and in compliance with Georgia law.”
The lawsuit says that Rolfe was terminated “without an investigation, without proper notice, without a pre-disciplinary hearing, and in direct violation of the municipal code of the city of Atlanta.”
Rolfe noted in the lawsuit that the other officer involved, Devin Brosnan, was not fired and was instead placed on administration leave, according to NBC News.
“Many other city of Atlanta police officers who have been charged with crimes, including felonies, have remained employed during the investigation and pendency of their criminal charges,” the lawsuit said.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said that the reason that Rolfe was charged was because Brooks “did not pose an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or officers.”
Yet, a couple of weeks earlier, Howard charged a police officer “for pointing a taser” at someone because a taser was considered to be a “deadly weapon” under Georgia law.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said after Howard’s announcement of the charges that they were never consulted about the charges and that the investigation was not over.
“The GBI was not aware of today’s press conference before it was conducted,” GBI added. “We were not consulted on the charges filed by the District Attorney. Despite today’s occurrence, the GBI will complete its mission of completing an impartial and thorough investigation of this incident and we will submit the file, once completed, to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.”
The GBI is currently investigating Howard over the subpoena’s Howard’s office issued in the case regarding Rolfe.
Howard issued grand jury subpoenas directing the Atlanta Police Department to turn over its “open investigation regarding Garrett Rolfe and the use of force incident.” Fox 5 Atlanta reports:
The subpoena required that the documents be turned over for the “Grand Jury, June/July term on the of 14th day of July.” Other grand jury subpoenas were issued for phone and surveillance camera videos.
The grand jury subpoenas were reportedly issued while the grand jury was suspended. The grand jury “had been suspended on March 13 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The issuing of grand jury subpoenas while there is no grand jury could be “an ethical or possibly criminal issue,” according to legal experts who spoke with Fox 5.
Gable Cino, who is a law professor that specializes in prosecutorial misconduct, told the outlet, “It would be a violation of criminal law to make a knowingly false statement or misrepresentation in the subpoena which is a document that has been issued.”