Atlanta, Georgia – An update regarding the officer charged in the death of Rayshard Brooks has cropped up again, regarding the motion filed by the prosecution to have Garrett Rolfe’s bail revoked after a trip to Florida.
While the trip skirted with a possible violation of Rolfe’s terms of bond, the judge decided to not revoke his bail.
Judge decides not to revoke bond for Garrett Rolfe, clarifies conditions https://t.co/muK2RdYNet
— 11Alive News (@11AliveNews) August 12, 2020
Rolfe was said to have gone to Florida and it’s been further clarified that the trip was intended for him to visit his grandparents. While the judge could have realistically revoked the bond of Rolfe for the out-of-state trip, the judge simply opted to clarify matters and tell Rolfe that travel beyond the state of Georgia is forbidden.
In the judge’s written decision on the prosecution’s motion, the following was mentioned:
“While the court is not revoking defendant’s bond at this time, the Court is more than surprised at defendant’s approach to complying with his conditions of release.”
The “surprise” from what the judge notes stems from Rolfe deciding to take a trip to Florida without consulting the court first. The judge further stated that Rolfe “was given the privilege” of being on bond – although “given” is quite a characterization of someone drumming up half-a-million dollars for bond.
In the reached decision, the judge urged the defense to reach out to the courts in the event there’s any questions regarding the terms of Rolfe’s bail:
“Should he and his attorneys have any questions as to the meaning of the conditions of his bond, they should seek clarification from the Court before acting, rather than hoping for continued release after acting.”
We had previously reported on the motion filed by the prosecution in this case regarding Rolfe’s trip to Florida. Here’s our report when the DA’s office sought to have Rolfe’s bail revoked.
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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.
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.
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.
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 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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