Garrett Rolfe, the released Atlanta cop who shot Rayshard Brooks outside a Wendy’s restaurant last year, has been reinstated – although he’s still on murder charges in this case.
The Atlanta Civil Service Board said Rolfe should get his job back because city officials were too quick to fire the police officer without giving him an opportunity to defend himself, WXIA-TV reported on Wednesday.
“Due to the city’s failure to comply with several provisions of the Code and the information obtained during the testimony, the board concludes that the appellant has not been given due process,” the decision said.
“Therefore the board upholds the appointment of Garrett Rolfe and revokes his dismissal as an employee of APD,” said the board.
Rolfe was canned on June 13, the day after he fatally shot Brooks in the back after an argument outside the fast food restaurant.
Under the city law, the police officer was entitled to ten days to respond to the charges, the public service agency said in a statement released on Wednesday.
City officials argued that the mayor had the authority to fire a police officer for a number of reasons, including “unnecessary or inappropriate use of force” – but the board disagreed, WXIA reported.
It is unclear whether the verdict means that Rolfe can return to regular police services, the station said.
Rolfe was thrown into the spotlight after Brooks’ death. The officer and his partner were called to see Wendy after Brooks fell asleep in his car in the drive-through lane.
Brooks and both cops were seen on a bodycam video of friendly conversation for a few minutes before officers tried to arrest him, which led to an argument.
Brooks was seen wrestling on the floor trying to grab Rolfe’s taser before running away and being shot in the back.
Rolfe was released less than a week later and charged with murder.
In August, he filed a lawsuit to get his job back.