The city of Atlanta on Wednesday reinstated Garrett Rolfe, the police officer fired over the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks last year, after an oversight board ruled that he was terminated without due process, reports Reuters. The Atlanta Civil Service Board said the city failed to follow its own procedures when Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms dismissed Rolfe, who is white, without a hearing after he shot Brooks in the back in June outside a Wendy’s restaurant. The city said in a statement that he would remain on administrative duty, while the mayor defended her initial decision to fire Rolfe.
The June 12 shooting occurred when police officers responded to complaints that Brooks had fallen asleep while drunk behind the wheel of a car in the drive-through lane of the fast-food restaurant. After a struggle, he wrested away one officer’s Taser, fired it at police and then ran away, defying their orders to stop. The Civil Service Board ruled that Rolfe was not offered the opportunity to respond to the allegations that led to his dismissal. Gerald Griggs, vice president of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP, the largest U.S. civil rights organization, said under no circumstances should Rolfe go back on street patrol and protesters who gathered outside the Atlanta City Hall Wednesday night called for the city to fire Rolfe again. Rolfe is charged with felony murder, aggravated assault and other crimes in the case. A trial date has not been set.