Officer Rolfe’s stepmother fired from her job after the District Attorney announced he’s being charged

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ATLANTA, GA – Being a police officer has always been a very tough occupation. Those of us in law enforcement might say that it becomes who you are and at times that can make it tough on your family.

Usually that’s because of the inherent risks, the hours and the toll it can take on a person emotionally. Now more than ever, we as police officers are being tested with every fiber of our beings.

It seems we should add to the list: worrying about if our actions will cause a family member to lose their job as well.

According to the Washington Times, Melissa Rolfe, the stepmother of former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe, was fired from her job at Equity Prime Mortgage LLC in Atlanta, the company confirmed Thursday.

Garrett Rolfe, as I’m sure you know, is the former Atlanta Police Officer fired after shooting Rayshard Brooks a week ago in a Wendy’s parking lot. Garrett Rolfe has been vilified in the media even though there is video footage of Rayshard Brooks fighting with officers and at one point getting a Taser from an officer and attempting to fire it at Rolfe.

Melissa Rolfe was the HR Director at Equity Prime Mortgage, who issued the following statement on their Twitter page:

“As an employer, it is imperative to maintain a safe environment for all employees. Melissa Rolfe’s termination was a direct result of her actions in the workplace and violation of company policy.

“While working with Melissa as she transitioned to a leave of absence granted by our organization, we discovered she violated company policy and created an uncomfortable working environment for many of our employees.

“As an HR director, she ultimately lost the confidence of her peers, leadership, and many employees who no longer felt comfortable engaging with her.

We value diversity of thought and respect Melissa’s personal views and the views of all employees; however, when those views create a hostile working environment, we must make difficult decisions to part ways.”

Initially, EPM had granted Melissa Rolfe a leave of absence and then without warning terminated her.

They cited violation of company policy which allegedly stemmed from social media posts made by Rolfe. The nature of the posts was not specified.

Itt seems like for a company that “strives for diversity and equality,” they need to work on the latter.

What social media posts would someone who is a HR Director make that would be so inflammatory it would require her immediate termination while already out on a leave of absence?

Based on what we know so far, this seems to be another instance of a company pandering out of fear of possible retribution. For anyone to think that this has nothing to do with Melissa Rolfe’s police officer stepson is very naïve.

The Black Lives Matter movement along with Antifa have recently ripped through cities like New York, Tampa, Minneapolis and Atlanta since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis MN back in May.

After the death of Rayshard Brooks during his encounter with Atlanta Police on June 12th, 2020, in what one could perceive as a desperate plea to save their stores from being looted and burned; many businesses publicly began supporting BLM with banners across their websites and issuing statements to make sure the public knows they don’t condone racism.

[Editor’s note: My kids can’t even turn on Netflix without being asked if they want to “view collection” of “black representation.” NO- they want to watch Leapfrog and leave me alone for 30 minutes- just let them!]

The firing of Melissa Rolfe from Equity Prime Mortgage should have everyone in law enforcement genuinely concerned. The precedence being set by EPM is a very dangerous one and gives those of us in an already stressful line of work one more thing to have tucked in the back of our minds as we head into work each day.

In what other career do you have to worry about your family members losing their jobs by your actions at your job? The modern-day police officer is currently under attack, seemingly from every possible angle.

Garrett Rolfe has been charged with Felony Murder in the case of Rayshard Brooks, the Atlanta man who resisted a DUI Arrest then grabbed an officers Taser and attempted to use it against Rolfe before being shot and killed.

Here’s the most recent report on this case from Law Enforcement Today.

As you’re no doubt aware of by now, Officer Garrett Rolfe of the Atlanta Police Department has been arrested in relation to the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks.

The DA (whose integrity is quite questionable, more on that later) has filed 11 charges against Officer Rolfe: felony murder, five counts of aggravated assault, four counts of violation of oath of office and one count of criminal damage to property.

As anyone with any knowledge of use of force laws and policies (and maybe a sprinkle of common sense) can see, this shooting was absolutely and completely justified. Officer Rolfe is clearly being used as a pawn in a sick, sick game.

Now, it’s up to his family, blood and blue, to stand by his side and get him the help he needs.

The Georgia Law Enforcement Organization has started a fundraiser to bring much needed financial assistance to Garrett.

Here’s the description of the fundraiser started by Greg James:

“Officer Rolfe was involved in the justified shooting of Rayshard Brooks on June 12th, 2020. The videos clearly show that the shooting was justified; however, the District Attorney Paul Howard, who is losing his election, has chosen to charge Officer Rolfe with 11 charges including Felony Murder, and it is 100% for political gain.

“The DA is losing his election, and he is also under investigation himself for stealing $185,000 in tax money, and transferring it directly into his personal account.

“This fundraiser is designed to help Officer Rolfe and his family to pay for legal services and general necessities.”

There is going to be a long, tough road ahead for Garrett, and we need to be there with him every step of the way. 

To contribute to the fundraiser set up for Rolfe, click HERE.

According to a local statement, here’s the full incident breakdown:

“A DUI investigation determined that [Brooks] was too intoxicated to drive. The bodycam showed the officers being overly nice and polite to him the entire time all the way up until the handcuffs were about to go on, as they should’ve been.

“As soon as they tried to cuff him, an all out brawl took place. Not just resisting, but punching them in the face and throwing them around.

“He took one officer’s taser, threw him face first into the asphalt, stood up, and took off.
“So let’s pause there and see where we’re at legally.

“Charges:

-DUI
-Obstruction X2 – Felony
-Battery on an officer X2
-Aggravated assault X2 – Felony
-Strong Armed Robbery – Felony
-And believe it or not….
-Possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime – Felony

“Per Georgia Law, a taser is classified as a “less-lethal” FIREARM as they do occasionally cause death.
(OCGA 16-11-106)

“These offenses are important because there is a case law called Tennessee v Garner

“What Tennessee v Garner states is:
‘When a non-violent felon is ordered to stop and submit to police, ignoring that order does not give rise to a reasonable good-faith belief that the use of deadly force is necessary, UNLESS it has been threatened.’

“So this goes back to the taser being classified as a firearm that can cause death or great bodily harm.

“The 2nd officer chased after him and tried to use his own taser against him, but he didn’t get a good connection.

“Brooks then turns, aims the taser at the officer, and fires. Statutorily, this is no different than firing a gun. (The taser that APD carries has 2 cartridges, so Brooks could have potentially shot the officer twice.)

“The officer dropped his taser from his left hand after it appears he was hit by a barb on the video, draws his sidearm, fires 3 shots, falls against a car in the parking lot and Brooks goes down.

“Brooks was not only a continuing threat to the officer since he could still fire the taser again, but he also showed and EXTREME desire to get away, with a weapon. So it is not unreasonable to have the fear that he would use that weapon to carjack a motorist sitting in the drive-thru line, take a hostage, or otherwise hurt another innocent party.

“What does Georgia Law say about deadly force?
OCGA 17-4-20 (b):
Sheriffs and peace officers may use deadly force:
1.) to apprehend a suspected felon only when the officer reasonably believes that the suspect possesses a deadly weapon. (He did)
2.) to apprehend a suspected felon who possesses any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury. (He did)
3.) to apprehend a suspected felon when the officer reasonably believes that the suspect poses an immediate threat of physical violence to the officer or others (He did)
4.) to apprehend a suspected felon when there is probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm (He did)

“The officer only needed one of those requirements, but he had all 4……..

“Now the reason taser’s are considered “less-lethal” is because when used appropriately, you are ‘less likely’ to kill someone vs using a gun. But Brooks hasn’t been through the training to know how to avoid certain vulnerable parts of the body, and he doesn’t understand how neuromuscular incapacitation (NMI) works, which makes it MORE likely for him to cause great bodily injury or death than if an officer used it.

“And just to support the fact that tasers can and do kill, there is an East Point Officer currently sitting in prison for improperly using a taser and killing a man a few years ago.
(Eberhart v Georgia)

“’He could’ve shot him in the leg!’

“Right off the top, it is unconstitutional to do so. It is considered cruel and unusual punishment to employ a gun in that manner. Either an officer felt deadly force was necessary, or he should use a lesser response.

“We could just leave it at that, but that’s too much of a cop out, so let’s discuss WHY it has been deemed unconstitutional. For one thing, that’s an extremely difficult shot to make. The target is quite narrow, and in continuous motion as the suspect runs away/charges the officer.

“Under the best of conditions trying to hit the leg is challenging…to be generous about it. But in a life or death encounter, the officer’s fine motor skills will be eroded by the stress of the encounter making the shot, turning a leg shot into a very low probability feat.

“Assuming a round does hit the leg, then what? The only way a shot to the leg would immediately stop a threat is by shattering one of the bones, and stopping the threat is the ultimate goal.

While it is very difficult to find a shot to the leg that will immediately stop a threat, it is actually comparatively easy to find shots to the leg which eventually prove fatal. Human legs have very large blood vessels which are essentially unprotected (femoral artery).

“Now remember, we’ve had days to sit back, watch videos, discuss, and analyze this entire thing. The officers had less than a minute from the time the fight started, and less than 5 seconds to interpret EVERYTHING you just read while running, getting shot at with a taser, and returning fire.”

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

Just so.

And now, here’s the press release from the defense attorney:

“On June 12, 2020, a Wendy’s employee called 911 to report a man was passed out behind the wheel of his vehicle and blocking traffic in the drive-through. Officer Brosnan responded, and made contact with the driver, Rayshard Brooks.

“After determining alcohol may have been a contributing factor, he requested Officer Rolfe’s assistance. Officer Rolfe, a member of the High Intensity Traffic Team and the Governor funded HEAT Unit, has specialized training in DUI investigations. He has made at least 300 DUI arrests, and completed the 160-hour Drug Recognition Expert course, graduating as valedictorian.

“After a thorough investigation, Officer Rolfe determined Mr. Brooks was impaired and driving a vehicle in violation of Georgia law. Officer Rolfe was polite and courteous to Mr. Brooks during the entire encounter. Mr. Brooks was polite and cooperative until Officer Rolfe placed him under arrest.

“Suddenly, without warning or provocation, Mr. Brooks chose to violently attack two uniformed police officers. Officers Brosnan and Rolfe used the least amount of force possible in their attempts to place Mr. Brooks into handcuffs. They attempted to leverage him to the ground while giving him loud, clear verbal commands.

“In response, Mr. Brooks continued actively resisting lawful efforts to arrest him. He then escalated his resistance by punching Officer Rolfe in the face, committing several counts of felony obstruction of an officer. See O.C.G.A. §16-10-24. In an effort to place Mr. Brooks under arrest and stop his assault, Officer Rolfe lawfully deployed his TASER twice, but it had no effect on Mr. Brooks.

“Mr. Brooks continued his assault and disarmed Officer Brosnan, stealing his city-issued TASER committing a robbery, another forcible felony under Georgia law. See O.C.G.A. §16-8-40 & O.C.G.A. §16-10-33 . Mr. Brooks, then armed, began running through a crowded parking lot. Mr. Brooks was lawfully under arrest and Officer Rolfe pursued him. Officer Rolfe had deployed his taser and held it steady in hopes the prongs would catch onto Mr. Brooks body and neutralize him. Unfortunately, that didn’t occur.

“Instead of merely trying to escape, Mr. Brooks reached back with his arm extended and pointed an object at Officer Rolfe. Officer Rolfe heard a sound like a gunshot and saw a flash in front of him. Fearing for his safety, and the safety of the civilians around him, Officer Rolfe dropped his taser and fired his service weapon at the only portion of Mr. Brooks that presented to him – Mr. Brooks’ back.

“Officer Rolfe immediately stopped firing when Mr. Brooks fell to the ground since there was no longer an imminent threat towards Officer Rolfe or others. Officer Rolfe gathered himself, and then immediately called for EMS. Officer Rolfe retrieved first-aid supplies and began rendering aid to Mr. Brooks. When Mr. Brooks’ pulse stopped, Officer Rolfe immediately began CPR until EMS relieved him.

“The loss of life in any instance is tragic. However, Officer Rolfe’s actions were justified under O.C.G.A. §17-4-20 and O.C.G.A. §16-3-21. A peace officer may use deadly force to 1. arrest a suspected felon when he reasonably believes that the suspect poses an immediate threat of physical violence to the officer or others, 2. to protect himself and others from a life-threatening injury, and 3. to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

“Mr. Brooks violently attacked two officers and disarmed one of them. When Mr. Brooks turned and pointed an object at Officer Rolfe, any officer would have reasonably believed that he intended to disarm, disable, or seriously injure him.

“The Georgia Bureau of Investigation will complete an impartial investigation. Mr. Brooks’ family, the citizens of Atlanta, and Officers Rolfe and Brosnan, all desire a fair and thorough investigation including learning why Mr. Brooks suddenly turned violent.

“Officer Rolfe is well known to the courts and there is no compelling reason to bring any charges against them before the GBI has completed its investigation and published its findings.”

Once again, if you’d like to contribute to Garrett Rolfe’s legal fees, you can do so HERE.

 

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