Rayshard Brooks' widow 'baffled' and joins DA's call to revoke ex-officer's bond for vacation trip to Florida

The booking photo for former APD officer Garrett Rolfe. By Madeline Holcombe, Eliott C. McLaughlin and Jennifer Henderson, CNN

(CNN) -- Rayshard Brooks' widow echoed a prosecutor's call Wednesday for a judge to revoke Garrett Rolfe's bond after the ex-Atlanta police officer who killed her husband went to Florida on vacation.

"I was baffled when I heard about this. It was very hurtful. It let me know that Officer Rolfe did not care about what the judge had laid down, as well as caring about how anyone else would feel," Tomika Miller said.

"I'm hurt, and again, I'm just wondering when will justice be served? When will things change? It hurts, and I feel like something should be done."

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard filed a motion Wednesday requesting Rolfe's bond be revoked, accusing the former officer of traveling to Florida for vacation without notifying the state of his plans prior to his travels.

Rolfe's legal team filed a response Thursday, saying Rolfe wasn't in the wrong to travel.

"The State never requested that Garrett Rolfe be placed on house arrest/home confinement; nor did the State request that Mr. Rolfe be prohibited from travelling out of state," attorneys Noah Pines and William Thomas argued in the filing.

"Instead of requesting that Mr. Rolfe's bond be modified to include additional conditions of bond, they are asking this Court to revoke his bond. Because Mr. Rolfe did not violate the conditions of his bond, this Court should not revoke his bond."

Also Wednesday, Rolfe sued Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and interim police Chief Rodney Bryant in a bid to get his job back.

Rolfe is charged with murder in the fatal June 12 shooting of Brooks at a Wendy's parking lot. He was released on $500,000 bond last month.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard argued Tuesday that Rolfe violated his bond by traveling to Florida without notifying the state of his plans before leaving, according to a motion.

The bond order "expressly states that the Defendant is only allowed to leave home for medical, legal, or work-related obligations. Thus, (the) Defendant has clearly shown that he will not abide by the conditions of bond imposed by the Court," the motion said, asking that Rolfe's bond be revoked.

The order also sets a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

'What's good for the goose ...'

Miller's attorney, L. Chris Stewart, has never seen a case like this one, he said, adding it's disappointing and telling that Rolfe would go on vacation -- not only because he's charged with murder, but the country is also in the throes of a pandemic.

"I believe that a lot of us would love to be on vacation, and it was mind-blowing to see that Officer Rolfe decided to ignore the court rules and regulations and standards that have been set upon him for his bond," the lawyer said.

If the judge does not enforce the law, it sets an unsettling precedent, Stewart said, and he wonders if that precedent would apply to African Americans.

"Officer Rolfe should not be vacationing in Florida, which we believe is a full violation of his bond and furthermore shows the mental state of this officer -- to feel that he can just go on vacation after being charged with the murder of Rayshard Brooks," he said.

Fellow attorney Justin Miller said, as a former lawman, Rolfe should know the rules: "If a defendant did that, he would be the first person trying to get that defendant and arrest that defendant and bring them back saying that they were being disrespectful, that they violated an order. What's good for the goose is good for the gander."

Flaunting the bond order is disrespectful to the judge, the judicial system and Brooks' family and memory, he said.

Rolfe left day before telling court, records allege

Howard's office received an email from the defendant's attorney notifying the state that Rolfe traveled to Florida on Monday.

Records from an ankle-monitoring company indicate Rolfe left his home Sunday at 6:58 a.m. en route to Daytona Beach.

"When this was sent to Paul Howard's office, he was already (lying) on the beach," Stewart said.

Stewart didn't know if or why the ankle monitor failed to go off, he said, but he wants Rolfe's bond revoked, preferably Wednesday.

Rolfe also faces five counts of aggravated assault, four counts of violation of oath of office and one count of criminal damage to property.

Video footage from the night of his death shows Brooks, 27, being handcuffed, then grabbing an officer's Taser and fleeing. Brooks points the Taser over his shoulder at an officer who shoots several times. An autopsy indicates Brooks was shot in the back and buttocks.

A law firm representing Rolfe said he reacted after he heard "a gunshot and saw a flash in front of him."

Brooks' death came as protests across the nation, sparked by the killing of George Floyd and others, called for an end to racial injustice and police violence against Black people. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields stepped down in the wake of Brooks' killing.

Rolfe wants badge back

The former officer's attorneys asked a state court judge to compel Bottoms and Bryant to reinstate his employment and reimburse fees for the lawsuit. The officer argues his use of force was justified.

Lawyers Lance LoRusso and Ken Davis say that their client was fired "without an investigation, without proper notice, without a pre-disciplinary hearing, and in direct violation of the municipal code of the City of Atlanta."

They said in a statement: "Like all City of Atlanta Police Officers, Garrett Rolfe is entitled to due process, equal protection of the law, and the benefit of the city ordinances that protect every city employee."

Chata Spikes, an interim spokeswoman for the police department, said they could not comment on pending litigation. The mayor's spokesman, Michael Smith, said the city has not yet been served with the lawsuit.

The suit was filed Tuesday in Fulton Superior Court.

Rolfe's attorneys did not respond with comment on the district attorney's motion to have their client's bail revoked.

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