Here’s Why The Officer Involved In the Rayshard Brooks Incident Has Been Reinstated

Written by Wes Walker on May 7, 2021

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Civilized society is held together by, among other things, established rules and a standard process.

Without those rules, we have nothing more than emotions, competing powerful interests, and the capricious will of men.

Whatever any of us might think about the particular circumstances surrounding the incident in which Rayshard Brooks lost his life, and whether it was a justified or criminal use of lethal force, there is a process by which such complex situations are resolved… ‘due process’, even.

That process was not followed with respect to the officers involved in that incident.

If the details of that case have been lost in the mists of an absolutely insane year that has passed between then and now — one that almost feels like several years have passed rather than one — here are links to a couple of stories we covered as the event developed.

The original incident (with the angry public reaction that same night) is described in some detail here: Tensions Run High In Atlanta Over Lethal Use Of Force Incident — Here’s The 411

Then the bodycam video came out giving greater context: ATLANTA: Big New Developments In The Rayshard Brooks Use Of Lethal Force Case

The police response to the immediate firing of the officers involved: BLUE FLU: Mass Walkouts After Atlanta Cop Gets Charged With Felony Murder

Yours truly observed, at the time:

It wasn’t bad enough that he was fired before there was any time for a review. The cop who was assaulted during a routine arrest could be facing the death penalty because of how events played out.

Turns out, skipping the review that is supposed to precede disciplinary action (like firing) was actually a big deal.

His rights have been violated.

The fired Atlanta police officer who is charged in the fatal 2020 shooting of Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, has been reinstated. The Atlanta Civil Service Board reversed his firing on Wednesday, ruling that Garrett Rolfe was “not afforded his right to due process.”

“Due to the City’s failure to comply with several provisions of the Code and the information received during witnesses’ testimony, the Board concludes the Appellant was not afforded his right to due process,” the board said in a five-page decision. “Therefore, the Board grants the Appeal of Garrett Rolfe and revokes his dismissal as an employee of the APD.”

…Rolfe was fired one day after the shooting. The Civil Service Board said Rolfe was not given 10 days’ notice of his firing, which is required under the city’s code. The board noted that its “sole mission is to determine if the City’s imposition of an adverse employment action complied with the Code.” — CBSNews

That doesn’t clear up the allegations against him — eleven charges in all remain to be sorted out. They include allegations of felony murder, aggravated assault and violation of oath of office. But it gives him back some measure of the presumption of innocence that is supposed to be extended even to police officers when they fall afoul of public opinion.

Candace Owens was right in saying that the firing of this Police officer was motivated by fear of how the mob would rip apart the city if they didn’t get their pound of flesh. If she’s right, that’s a brutal indictment of how far the balance of power has shifted against the rule of law.

The American way is BETTER than that. Witnesses to the Boston Massacre were no less angry and crying out for justice… as they understood the term.

But John Adams understood what the mob did not.

Angry emotions demanding retribution do not bring about justice, not TRUE justice in a country ruled by laws and not men, that is.

No. True justice is arrived at through a dispassionate examination of the facts, and making a decision based on those findings. Adams believed in that so completely, that he served as legal counsel to the Redcoats.

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