Judge Grants Bond for Ex-Officer Who Fatally Shot Rayshard Brooks Despite Widow's Emotional Plea

Photo does not have a caption

A judge on Tuesday granted a $500,000 bond for the former Atlanta police officer charged with killing Rayshard Brooks outside an Atlanta Wendy's on June 12, despite an emotional plea from Brooks' widow.

Garrett Rolfe was fired from the Atlanta Police Department after the deadly shooting and faces 11 charges, including felony murder. Rolfe was attempting to arrest 27-year-old Brooks, who had fallen asleep in his car and failed a sobriety test, when Brooks grabbed another officer's Taser and fled. Rolfe opened fire, fatally shooting Brooks in the back. Video appeared to show Brooks turning and pointing the Taser just before the shooting. The second officer involved, Devin Brosnan, has been placed on administrative leave and charged with aggravated assault and oath violations. 

Speaking at a bond hearing via video conference, Brooks' widow, Tomika Miller, sobbed as she urged the judge not to grant bond, saying Rolfe posed a danger to the community.

"My husband did not deserve to die, and I should not live in fear while waiting for the man who killed my husband to be tried in court," Miller said.

Miller, who at one point was so overcome with emotion she asked to step away to collect herself, described Brooks as a loving father. She said her daughter's birthday was the day Brooks was killed, and the couple's anniversary the following day.

"My life is completely turned upside down since this has happened," Miller said. "I've been unable to sleep, eat, or even console my children."

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jane Barwick thanked Miller for her bravery in addressing the court and said the bond decision is "not the ultimate issue in the case as to whether this defendant is guilty of these charges." Barwick ruled Rolfe is entitled to bond because he poses no flight risk or danger.

Rolfe attended the hearing via video conference but did not speak.