The former Atlanta police officer accused of killing Rayshard Brooks won’t have his bond revoked after making a trip to Florida, a Fulton County judge ruled Wednesday.
But the wording in Garrett Rolfe’s bond order was modified to require him to stay at his home. And Judge Jane Barwick gave a stern warning to Rolfe about following the terms of his release on $500,000 bond.
“Defendant faces charges related to the killing of another human being, and whether he believes these charges are warranted, he was given the privilege of limited freedom while these charges pend,” Barwick wrote in her ruling. “Should he and his attorneys have any question as to the meaning of the conditions of his bond, they should seek clarification from the court before acting rather than hoping for continued release after acting. These are strict conditions that shall be adhered to strictly.”
Rolfe is facing felony murder and other charges in the June 12 shooting death of Brooks and was fired. At a June 30 bond hearing, Barwick said she didn’t believe he was a flight risk and felt he posed no significant threat of committing a crime or intimidating witnesses.
On Aug. 3, Rolfe’s attorney notified the Fulton district attorney’s office that he would be traveling to Florida to visit family members. District Attorney Paul Howard then asked the judge to consider revoking Rolfe’s bond.
But the state did not petition the court to place Rolfe on house arrest or prohibit him from traveling out of state, Rolfe’s attorneys, Noah Pines and William Thomas, argued in their response.
The previous condition did not state that Rolfe couldn’t leave the state, despite imposing a curfew and requiring him to wear an ankle monitor. His bond conditions have now been modified to state Rolfe cannot leave the state. He must follow a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew except for medical, legal or work reasons.
The night Brooks died, Rolfe and Officer Devin Brosnan had responded to a call reporting that a motorist had fallen asleep in the drive-thru line of a Wendy’s restaurant. As Rolfe attempted to handcuff Brooks following a breathalyzer test, a scuffle ensued and Brooks grabbed Brosnan’s Taser. Rolfe fired and Brooks died from two gunshot wounds to the back, according to investigators.
Brosnan, charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath of office, was not fired but has been reassigned, APD previously said. Brosnan also is free on bond.
Howard has said Brooks posed no threat to the safety of the officers. But last week in a lawsuit seeking to get his job back, Rolfe said Brooks violently resisted arrest and that the shooting was justified.
Rolfe’s suit centers on what he says was a lack of due process. His dismissal, announced by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and former Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, happened “without an investigation, without proper notice, without a pre-disciplinary hearing, and in direct violation of the municipal code of the City of Atlanta,” his lawsuit states.
Rolfe is seeking to have his job reinstated, along with back pay and benefits. The lawsuit also names interim Chief Rodney Bryant. Shields resigned the day after the shooting.