ATLANTA, GA – Ali Carter was pulled off an American Airlines flight at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport just prior to the New Year.
Carter was detained by police for an outstanding warrant for terroristic threats issued by a different law enforcement agency in Georgia.
And he was not afraid to let the arresting officers know just exactly who he was, or who he used to be.
Fox 5 Atlanta reported that Carter allegedly state that he would use his AR-15 if his ex-wife’s boyfriend touched his child again. Police say that the phone call when he made the threat was recorded.
That call was alleged to have occurred in September of 2020.
According to Fox News, the Atlanta Police Department released bodycam footage of the arrest Tuesday in which Carter can be heard speaking to the officers.
“I’m chief of staff to Andre Dickens,” Carter says.
“OK, well you still have a warrant for your arrest,” an officers replied. “What are we supposed to do?”
“Call the mayor, man,” Carter eventually tells one of the officers. “I’m chief of staff to our new mayor, man.”
The problem with Carter’s last statement? It isn’t actually true.
According to the mayor’s office, Carter doesn’t work for Dickens.
“The incident in question is based on a warrant from Douglas County and Mayor Dickens has been made aware of the alleged incident,” a spokesperson said.
“While Mr. Carter previously worked for Councilmember Dickens, he is not part of the mayor’s administration and is no longer an employee of the City of Atlanta.”
Andre Dickens is the newly elected mayor of Atlanta. He won a runoff election at the end of November, defeating Felicia Moore.
The two candidates were the last two standing in a race to replace out-going mayor Leisha Lance-Bottoms, who opted not to seek a second term.
She may best be known by her botched handling of the Rayshard Brooks situation after he was shot and killed by police after he stole one of their tasers and tried to use it on the officers.
Lance-Bottoms almost immediately fired the officer that shot and killed Brooks, despite the mountain of video evidence that seems to show the legal justification for the use of deadly force. More on that below.
Carter was at one time the chief of staff and director of constituent services for Dickens when he was a city councilman. It is unclear when Carter was actually last employed by Dickens.
Video posted on Carter’s Instagram account show two things.
One, he made bail. Two, he was at Dicken’s swearing on last Monday.
Dicken’s has certainly alluded to his relationship with Carter in the past. He has called him his “main man” in one Facebook post.
He praised him in another saying, “You guys exceeded my expectations. Keep serving Atlanta! The dream team of Ali Carter, Emil Runge, and yours truly.”
While there are multiple examples to substantiate the personal and professional relationship that existed between Dickens and Carter. The newly elected mayor seems to be distancing himself from this current episode.
The detention of Carter on the plane was facilitated by four officers. The arrest report provided to Fox News by the Atlanta Police Department, in part reads:
“On 12-29-2021 at 2322 hours, Officer Pierre, Officer Mitchell, Officer Mack and I, Officer Petreus, responded to gate D23, American Airlines, flight #709 in reference to a warrant from Douglas County Sheriff’s Department for a Mr. Ali Carter.
Upon arriving, we located Mr. Ali Carter on the aircraft, in seat #11F and he confirmed his identity to police by name. Mr. Carter was informed of the warrant, and he was transported to the police precinct for paperwork to be completed and to receive confirmation of the warrant.
Atlanta mayor claims Officer Rolfe needed to be fired due to ‘the volatile state of our city and nation last summer’
ATLANTA, GA – With the recent news of Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe being reinstated to the APD due to non-adherence to proper procedures when terminating officers, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms defended her decision to terminate Rolfe last year.
According to Mayor Bottoms, Rolfe needed to be fired due to “the volatile state of our city and nation last summer.”
Garrett Rolfe, the police officer facing a felony murder charge for fatally shooting a 27-year-old Black man in a Wendy's parking lot, is getting his job back https://t.co/3NmO8Xxgcu
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 5, 2021
As many have seen in other outlets, as well as we have previously reported here at Law Enforcement Today, Officer Rolfe has been reinstated to the APD.
This decision was reached after the Atlanta Civil Service Board acknowledged that Rolfe was terminated from the police department without there being a proper hearing regarding the matter.
Obviously, this news regarding Rolfe’s reinstatement was great to hear for some who believe his actions in June of 2020 were justified – but also served as contentious news for those who believe the shooting of Rayshard Brooks was unjust.
However, even though Officer Rolfe has been reinstated as a police officer, he’s only a police officer on paper.
Following his reinstatement that occurred on May 5th, he was also placed almost immediately on administrative leave.
The reason behind this is Rolfe is currently out on bond for a felony murder case tied to the June 2020 shooting of Brooks, where some of the conditions of his bond include not possessing a firearm and not associating with any APD officers.
Those bond conditions clearly cannot coexist with Rolfe actually performing the duties of a police officer with the APD – hence, his reinstatement with the department is merely on paper.
Nonetheless, Mayor Bottoms offered comments regarding Rolfe’s reinstatement with the APD, noting that she stands by the decision made last year to have the officer terminated in a manner that subverted standard procedures:
“Given the volatile state of our city and nation last summer, the decision to terminate this officer, after he fatally shot Mr. Brooks in the back, was the right thing to do.”
Clearly, Mayor Bottoms’ statement is a reference of the rioting that unfolded after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May of 2020.
After word spread locally of Rolfe’s reinstatement to the APD, a couple dozen protesters were said to have gathered outside of Atlanta City Hall on the evening of May 5th, with some carrying signs that bore such slogans as “Justice for Rayshard Brooks” and “Jail Killer Cops Now”.
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As mentioned earlier, we at Law Enforcement Today previously reported on the news of Rolfe’s reinstatement with the APD.
Here’s that previous report.
ATLANTA, GA – Garrett Rolfe, the fired Atlanta police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks last summer, has been reinstated by the Atlanta Civil Service Board.
BREAKING: The Atlanta police officer who was fired after fatally shooting Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy's parking lot last year has been reinstated by Atlanta’s Civil Service Board. https://t.co/NAgjRSCi3z
— ABC News (@ABC) May 5, 2021
The board issued its decision this morning stating:
“Due to the City’s failure to comply with several provisions of the Code and the information received during witnesses’ testimony, the Board concludes the appellant was not afforded his right to due process. Therefore, the Board GRANTS the Appeal of Garrett Rolfe and revokes his dismissal as an employee of the APD.”
Rolfe was fired on June 13, the day after Brooks was fatally wounded outside a Wendy’s restaurant.
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) May 5, 2021
The incident, captured on surveillance and body camera video, began when officers arrived at the restaurant to find Brooks asleep in his vehicle.
After a brief discussion with Brooks, officers had him perform a field sobriety test, which he failed. Brooks asked officers to allow him to lock his car and walk home, but police informed him he was being arrested.
Brooks began struggling with officers and grabbed an officer’s stun gun. As Brooks ran from officers, he fired the stun gun in the direction of Officer Rolfe, who shot Brooks twice, striking him in the back. Brooks later died.
The police officer who was fired after he fatally shot Rayshard Brooks last June has been reinstated to the Atlanta Police Department https://t.co/lfq60WkEV6
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 5, 2021
Rolfe has been charged with felony murder for the shooting and is awaiting trial.
Despite the pending trial, Rolfe appealed his firing with the Atlanta’s Civil Service Board. His attorney, Lance LoRusso, argued before the board two weeks ago that his client’s dismissal occurred “without proper investigation” by the city.
LoRusso also argued that Rolfe did not receive a proper 10-day notice to prepare for a disciplinary hearing before being terminated.
The hearing revealed that then-Atlanta police chief Erika Shields did not sign Rolfe’s dismissal form. She stepped down as chief that same day, eventually resigning. Assistant Chief Todd Coyt signed the dismissal form in Shields’ place.
The city of Atlanta reinstated the police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks https://t.co/yECcNuxIaD "essentially be on administrative leave pending the outcome of the charges against them." It's called due process
— Delbert Earl Myers (@delbert_earl) May 5, 2021
During an “employee response hearing” held by the city following the shooting, Coyt told the board he believed Rolfe and the other officer charged in the case, Devin Brosnan, “acted accordingly and… were trying to show compassion and did everything they could to calm the situation down.”
However, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told reporters at the time that the circumstances of Brooks’ death required immediate action:
“It is clear that we do not have another day, another minute, another hour to waste.”
Garrett Rolfe, the officer who shot Rayshard Brooks last summer, has been reinstated to the Atlanta Police. The civil service board findings say Rolfe’s due process was violated when he was terminated. #11alive pic.twitter.com/2V2LWykDs2
— Hope Ford (@hope_iam) May 5, 2021
LoRusso argued to the board that the process of the employee response hearing did not provide Rolfe time to offer a defense prior to being terminated.
Shockingly, it was also revealed during testimony by Atlanta Police Department Sgt. William Dean, an internal affairs investigator, that Rolfe’s hearing was scheduled to accommodate a 5 p.m. press conference by the mayor announcing Rolfe’s termination.
Rolfe testified that he did not find out about his employee response hearing until 3:45 p.m. and that he was more than an hour outside the city at the time and said he feared for his safety, as video of Brooks’ shooting had been widely seen.
In ruling that Rolfe be re-instated, the board noted the lack of notice as a primary finding:
“In this case, the effective date of the discipline was June 14, 2020, and the (notice of proposed adverse action) and the (notice of final adverse action) were issued to the Appellant’s Union Representative at virtually the same time on June 13, 2020. As such, the City’s actions were not compliant with the ten days prior notice period as required by the Code.”
The Atlanta police officer who was fired and charged with murder after fatally shooting Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy's parking lot last year has been reinstated after a city board found that he had not been given due process, @RichardFausset reports. https://t.co/095eSMQ6gu
— Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs (@NickAtNews) May 5, 2021
LoRusso said the ruling does not mean Rolfe will be back on the streets as an Atlanta police officer any time soon. Rolfe will not be permitted to return to work because his bond on the murder charge prevents him from possessing a firearm or from being around other officers:
“He’d essentially be on administrative leave pending the outcome of the charges against them.”
The Atlanta Police Department has not issued a statement regarding the ruling as of the writing of this article.
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