Atlanta, GA – In the latest episode of silly court motions, we have the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office asking that former officer Garrett Rolfe, the man accused of murdering Rayshard Brooks, have his bail revoked.
The reason why – because he went on a trip to Florida. Oh, but Rolfe’s attorney also emailed the DA informing them that he’d be going to Florida.
DA asks judge to revoke bond for ex-officer charged with murder of Rayshard Brooks after alleged Florida vacation https://t.co/PT5Ra126lj
— 11Alive News (@11AliveNews) August 5, 2020
For those not hip, Rolfe ponied up a half-a-million dollar bond to make bail, to have some semblance of freedom after being charged with the death of Rayshard Brooks. Brooks was shot after he assaulted Rolfe, and fired his taser at him after stealing it from the officer during an arrest for a DUI.
The motion filed in court makes note of the fact that the conditions of Rolfe’s pre-trial release included a few stipulations.
There was a 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew (with the exception of medical needs, legal or work), no contact with Atlanta Police officers or Brooks’ family, adorning an ankle monitor and handing over his passport.
On August 3rd, the DA’s officer acknowledged that they’d received an email from Rolfe’s attorney explaining that Rolfe was heading to Florida for a trip.
However, the issue that the DA had was not only that Rolfe had already left that same morning at 7:00 a.m., but that the DA felt that the trip was a violation of his pre-trial release.
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According to the motion filed:
“The Bond Order signed by the Honorable Judge Jane C. Barwick on June 30, 2020, expressly states that the Defendant is only allowed to leave home for medical, legal, or work related obligations.
Thus, Defendant has clearly shown that he will not abide by the conditions of bond imposed by the Court.
Given the Defendant’s violations of the conditions of this Court’s bond order, the State brings this Motion to Revoke Bond before this Court.”
If court motions weren’t enough, the widow of Brooks thinks it’s “hurtful” that Rolfe ventured to Florida while he was on bail:
“I was baffled when I heard about this. It was very hurtful. It let me know that Officer Rolfe did not care about what the judge had laid down, as well as caring about how anyone else would feel.
I’m hurt, and again, I’m just wondering when will justice be served? When will things change? It hurts, and I feel like something should be done.”
Rayshard Brooks' widow echoed a prosecutor's call to revoke Garrett Rolfe's bond after the ex-Atlanta policeman who killed her husband went to Florida on vacation. “I'm just wondering when will justice be served? When will things change? It hurts.” https://t.co/TF5UzyCbBs
— GoldenRule1 (@cooperchip1) August 5, 2020
Now did Rolfe legally violate his terms of pre-trial release?
Well, basically yes.
Garrett Rolfe is said to have failed to comply with the terms of his bond by going to Florida on vacation. https://t.co/BrBasCkVhm
— ESSENCE (@Essence) August 5, 2020
But what would be deemed as travel restrictions are, frankly, odd with regard to pre-trial releases.
On the state and federal level, monetary pre-trial releases (also known as secured bonds), have relatively standard provisions like not allegedly violating any laws while released. And, depending on the gravity of the alleged offense, someone might have to surrender a passport (as Rolfe did).
From there, judges can create further confines like having a job, drug testing, living with a family member, GPS monitoring, and of course some travel restrictions.
But at the end of the day, a bond is a promise with cash that you’ll show up to court – which Rolfe clearly already fronted. And to make things all the more transparent, he even told the DA where he was going.
Now if Rolfe was attempting to skip bail, which is the typical reason a bond would get revoked, he would be doing a pretty crummy job by informing the DA where he was going and when.
You see, monetary bail was created to entice holding one’s word to appear somewhere – namely court – when accused of crimes. However, monetary bail (or any bail for that matter) was created to illustrate that all are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
While murder is a serious charge – most are well aware that the charge is politically charged.
Furthermore, if someone is presumed innocent until proven guilty – and paid their bail to attain their freedom – why is there outrage that Rolfe maybe drove over four hours south, to go to Florida and simultaneously inform the DA?
Well, that is perhaps due to the anti-police rhetoric that is ongoing in the country.
The writing is on the wall, and those painting it are hoping you’re too distracted to see it. How much longer will you stand idly by and not take notice?
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