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Yes, officers in Rayshard Brooks case could potentially go back to patrol after charges dropped

11Alive is answering questions after charges have been dropped against the officers in the Rayshard Brooks shooting.

ATLANTA — The decision to drop charges against the two officers involved in the 2020 death of Rayshard Brooks has sparked questions about what is next for those officers, and whether they could return to active patrol.

11Alive is looking into the question, and spoke with a criminal defense attorney to get a sense of what might lie ahead for Officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan.


Could the officers formally charged in the death of Rayshard Brooks be back on active patrol?


Defense Attorney Tanya Miller

The Atlanta Police Department


This is true.

Yes, it's possible Rofle and Brosnan could patrol streets in Atlanta again. 


After Brooks was shot and killed - and subsequently Rolfe was charged with murder and Brosnan with aggravated assault - the two officers were removed from active patrols. 

Rolfe was fired, while Brosnan was placed on desk duty. A little less than a year after the incident, an Atlanta city board reinstated Rolfe to the force, saying the firing did not follow proper procedures.

In a statement on Tuesday after special prosecutor Pete Skandalakis determined it was "reasonable" to use deadly in the case, APD confirmed that both officers were still employed with the department, adding that they are currently on administrative duty.

"Both officers will undergo Georgia P.O.S.T. recertification and training," APD said.

Credit: Atlanta Police Department
Officer Garrett Rolfe, left, and Officer Devin Brosnan

"We have faith in the criminal justice system, and we respect the special prosecutor’s decision in this case," the statement said. 

Previously, defense attorney Tanya Miller told 11Alive that it was possible that the officers could potentially patrol the streets again.  

"There is a chance, like there is in almost every one of these cases where an officer arguably engages in excessive force, but they are cleared for one reason or another," she said. "We often see them back on the streets, back policing, in communities.

Miller also noted that such a decision is typically fraught with concerns from community advocates and activists about officers who have been involved in such a politically and socially charged police shooting, such as this, returning to active patrols.

So, we can verify that it's possible both officers could patrol streets in again.

If they did so, it would come at the same time they're suing the city over what they believe was mistreatment after the shooting of Brooks.


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