The white Atlanta cop who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks had allegedly tried to cover up a previous shooting involving another black man in 2015, it has been revealed.
Garrett Rolfe, 27, has been charged on 11 counts including felony murder and aggravated assault, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced in a press conference on Wednesday.
Rolfe was immediately fired by the Atlanta Police Department after he shot and killed Brooks, 27, during a police confrontation outside a Wendy’s drive-thru on Friday.
Court documents obtained by The Guardian on Wednesday revealed the former cop was one of three officers involved in the shooting of Jackie Jermaine Harris in August 2015.
Harris, who had been driving a stolen truck, survived the incident but was treated in the hospital for a collapsed lung. He later pleaded guilty to a slew of charges.
Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed on Friday, June 12 when cops received a 911 call to the Wendy’s at University Avenue in Atlanta. Brooks was drunk and asleep at the wheel of his car and blocking the fast food restaurant’s drive-thru lane
Officer Garrett Rolfe, 27, (left) was charged with 11 counts including felony murder and aggravated assault, on Wednesday. Fellow cop Devin Brosnan (right) 26, who first responded to the call-out, agreed to testify against Rolfe and has been charged with aggravated assault and two violations of oath
However, documents showed the police officers involved did not include the fact that they opened fire on Harris and only noted that he was injured.
During a 2016 court hearing over the incident, Judge Doris L Downs called it ‘the wildest case I’ve seen in my 34 years here’ and said she was alarmed to learn the cops failed to report the shooting.
‘None of the police put in the report that they shot the man – none of them. And they sent him to Grady [Memorial Hospital] with collapsed lungs and everything, and the report doesn’t mention it,’ Judge Downs said, according to the news outlet.
‘I am ethically going to be required to turn all of them in,’ she added.
Harris was struck once after Rolfe and the two cops shot at him multiple times through the truck after he rammed it into a police car.
Video shows as Brooks is running away from Rolfe, Brooks (right) is seen turning around and pointing a Taser gun at the cop. That is what prompted Rolfe to shoot him twice in the back
After Brooks failed a field sobriety test and blew 0.108 when breathalyzed (0.08 is the legal limit in Georgia), Rolfe who was later fired, moved to cuff Brooks who suddenly resisted. Both officers were clearly taken by surprise. He tried to make a break for it and was shot twice in the back (left and right)
His attorney Serena Nunn said the cops only admitted Harris was injured but did not mention shooting him in the police report.
Judge Downs at the time said the police officers ‘will have to answer for what they did’ but it is unclear whether any were ever disciplined over their actions.
Atlanta officials released Rolfe’s records on Tuesday in which the 2015 case was listed as a ‘firearm discharge’ incident but it did not include details on whether or not action was taken against the officers.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation told The Guardian it did not investigate the shooting.
‘Being shot in the back and ultimately having your lung collapse is something more than an injury that was caused during the incident’, Nunn told Downs.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced the charges in the highly controversial shooting at a press conference this afternoon
‘We do expect officers to uphold the law. I cannot think of a plausible reason as to why they would have omitted that information.’
Harris, who pleaded guilty to theft, property damage, damaging a police vehicle and fleeing police, and was sentenced to time served and one year of probation, wrote a letter to the judge expressing his concerns.
‘I just don’t want them to get away with what they did to me,’ he wrote.
‘Not only have I been wronged, but society as well by allowing this officer to continue to patrol our streets of Metro Atlanta.’
On Wednesday, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard revealed cop Devin Brosnan, 26, who first responded to the call-out, has agreed to testify against Rolfe and has been charged with aggravated assault and two violations of oath.
Brosnan has been charged on three counts, one of aggravated assault, a charge that carries up to 20 years in prison and two violations of oath, including a failure to administer timely medical assistance. Rolfe has also been charged on this count.
Howard revealed that Brosnan had admitted to standing on Brooks’s shoulders while he lay dying – an unauthorized control technique.
Howard has asked for a $50,000 bond for Brosnan and no bond for Rolfe. Both men must turn themselves in by 6pm Thursday.