biographical data

Garrett Rolfe biography: 13 things about Atlanta, Georgia cop who arrested Rayshard Brooks


Garrett David Rolfe was one of the two Atlanta Police Department (APD) officers involved in the fatal arrest of black man Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The other one was Devin Brosnan.

On June 12, 2020, the APD received a call from a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant in Peoplestown, Atlanta. According to the caller, a man was sleeping in his car in the drive-through.

The man in the vehicle was Brooks. His car was blocking the drive-through so other customers had to drive around it to pick up their orders.

Garrett Rolfe (©Atlanta Police Department)
Garrett Rolfe (©Atlanta Police Department)

Rolfe went to the restaurant to assist Brosnan, who arrived there first. The latter told the former it took him a few moments to wake Brooks up and mentioned about the arrestee’s watery eyes and slurred speech.

For more than 20 minutes, Rolfe interviewed Brooks and conducted a field sobriety test, which the latter failed. The cop told Brooks, “I think you’ve had too much to drink to be driving.”

While it started with a cordial conversation between Rolfe, Brosnan and Brooks, it escalated to a wrestling match between the three. It ended in the fatal shooting of the arrestee, who was pronounced dead in Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

It was one of the deaths that reignited the Black Lives Matter movement during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the U.S. Here are 13 more things about Rolfe:

  1. He lives in Dallas, Georgia.
  2. From 2010 to 2015, he attended Georgia State University in Atlanta.
  3. On April 18, 2012, he registered as a non-partisan voter.
  4. He received $626 from Ken Nugent, a private personal injury lawyer who donated $2 for every yard Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan passed for throughout the 2017 National Football League season to cops attending college while working full-time in law enforcement.
  5. In October 2013, he was sworn in as an APD officer. He was part of the Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) unit.
  6. In 2018, he made more than 50 arrests for driving under the influence.
  7. In 2019, he became a member of the High Intensity Traffic Team (HITT) unit of the APD, which works to reduce the number of traffic-related injuries and deaths in Atlanta, especially involving impaired drivers. In May 2019, he was one of the five HITT unit members honored with silver pins at the 15th annual Mothers Against Drunk Driving Golden Shield Honors for their DUI arrests.
  8. On January 9, 2020, he was trained on the use of deadly force at the DeKalb County Police Academy in Lithonia, Georgia.
  9. On April 24, 2020, he took a nine-hour course on de-escalation options.
  10. On June 14, 2020, the APD fired him over the fatal arrest of Brooks.
  11. In April 2021, his lawyer Lance LoRusso argued to the Atlanta Civil Service Board that his situation was practically identical to APD officers Ivory Streeter and Mark Gardner, who were reinstated by the board after being fired in May 2020 for tasing Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young.
  12. On May 5, 2021, the Atlanta Civil Service Board released its decision to reinstate him.
  13. He was 29 years old when prosecutor Pete Skandalakis announced on August 23, 2022 that neither he nor Brosnan will face charges over the fatal arrest of Brooks.

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