Attorney for former officer who killed Rayshard Brooks says DA's investigation isn't credible
A lawyer for former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe questions the decision by Fulton District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr. to indict his client over the death of Rayshard Brooks before the Georgia Bureau of Investigations could complete his investigation.
In an interview with ABC News, Rolfe's defense attorney Lance LoRusso said the charges against Rolfe had been rushed and asked why they came before the Georgia Bureau of Investigations released the results.
"In this case, the city of Atlanta had an officer involved in the shooting," said LoRusso. "They contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. They usually return these results within 60 to 90 days, and for some reason, Mr. Howard, who is being examined by the GBI, decided that he would not wait for her to be examined." LoRusso said.
Shortly after the indictment was released, the GBI released a statement that read, "We have not been consulted on the charges brought by the district attorney. Despite today's event, the GBI will continue its mission to conduct an impartial and thorough investigation into this incident, and we will Submit file to Fulton County Prosecutor's Office upon completion. "
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"I think it is absolutely inadequate and should affect everyone that an independent agency has been commissioned to carry out this investigation and that the investigation has basically been usurped and potentially disrupted," LoRusso told ABC News. "No investigation that is so short can ever have any kind of credibility."
LoRusso said Rolfe would work with the ongoing GBI investigation.
"It is necessary that they have the full picture," said LoRusso. "Not only my client, but also the citizens of Georgia and now the United States will have the opportunity to see exactly what the GBI investigation will result from a fair, impartial third-party review of what happened that night."
PHOTO: Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe in a photo released on June 18, 2020 by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office. (Sheriff's Office of Fulton County)
Rolfe has been fired from his job at the Atlanta Police Department and faces eleven charges related to Brooks' death in a Wendy parking lot on June 12, including crime and assault. If Rolfe is convicted of the most serious crime murder charges, he could have a life in prison without being released.
Rolfe was facing a possible death sentence, but DA Howard said in an interview with CNN last week that he would not seek the death penalty in this case.
Rolfe's lawyer said he disagreed with the Rolex charges based on video evidence. The surveillance video showed Brooks running away from Rolfe and policeman Devin Brosnan after Brooks managed to snap a taser during a ground fight. Brooks then appeared to turn and point the taser at Rolfe, who pulled his gun and fired three shots.
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However, Howard's investigation revealed that Rolfe knew that the Taser Brooks had been fired twice. "Once fired twice, it posed no danger to him or anyone else," said Howard.
"There was no immediate risk of death or serious physical injury at the time of Mr. Brooks' shooting," Howard said at a press conference last week.
LoRusso disagrees. "We believe that his actions were appropriate," said LoRusso about Rolfe. "He is a highly qualified officer. And the officers trained for this type of scenario - a taser can absolutely incapacitate an officer, and if they are incapacitated at this point, they can be disarmed."
PHOTO: Rayshard Brooks, father of three daughters and stepson, was shot dead by the police in Atlanta on June 12, 2020. (Stewart Trial Attorneys)
LoRusso also denies that Rolfe shot Brooks while he ran away. "He turned and offered extreme violence to the uniformed police officer," LoRusso said of Brooks' actions, referring to Wendy's surveillance footage of the incident. "It doesn't run away, it's about fighting."
An autopsy performed by the Fulton County medical examiner revealed that Brooks' death was a murder caused by two gunshot wounds to his back.
MORE: Rayshard Brooks told the Atlanta official about a visit to the mother's grave and was fatally shot: video
LoRusso also contradicted Howard's claim that Rolfe did not provide the help in time. "The behavior of the officers immediately after the shooting did not reflect Mr. Brooks' fear or danger, but their actions did reflect other types of emotions," said Howard.
"There is no delay in the treatment of Mr. Brooks," said LoRusso. "People can watch the video and make this judgment for themselves," he added.
Rolfe's next trial to request a bond is scheduled for Tuesday.
The ex-official's lawyer, who killed Rayshard Brooks, says the DA investigation is not credible. They were originally published on abcnews.go.com
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