• Search

Motion Filed To Remove Unethical DA From Rayshard Brooks Shooting Case

Atlanta, GA – Attorneys for former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe filed a motion on Monday to have the Fulton County district attorney taken off the Rayshard Brooks case.

“Paul Howard has systematically sought to deprive Garrett Rolfe of a fair trial and impartial jury since the day he announced his decision to arrest Garrett Rolfe,” the motion filed on July 20 read, according to WSB.

“Because Paul Howard’s statements to the public were ethically inappropriate, because Paul Howard will be a necessary witness in this case, and because Paul Howard is currently under criminal investigation by the GBI for his actions in this case, we move to recuse Paul Howard and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting the case against Garrett Rolfe,” it read.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard previously dismissed calls for an independent prosecutor and refused to step down from the case.

The shooting occurred after officers responded to a call for a sleeping motorist blocking the Wendy’s drive-thru late on June 12.

Officers administered a field sobriety test and established probable cause to arrest Brooks, but when they went to put the suspect in handcuffs, the previously-calm man attacked them.

Brooks took Officer Brosnan’s Taser from him, tased the officer, and then fled with the weapon in hand.

Officer Rolfe pursued Brooks on foot with his own Taser in hand, until Brooks turned back and fired his Taser at Officer Rolfe.

That’s when Officer Rolfe dropped his Taser, drew his pistol, and fatally shot Brooks.

On June 17, Howard held a press conference to announce he was charging former Officer Rolfe with murder for the fatal shooting of Brooks after Brooks discharged Officer Brosnan’s Taser at Officer Rolfe.

The district attorney also announced at his press conference on June 17 that Officer Brosnan was facing three felony charges.

But Howard bragged that Officer Brosnan had turned state’s witness to testify against former Officer Rolfe and implied the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) had blessed the charges.

Neither was true.

Officer Brosnan’s attorney quickly announced his client had not agreed to work with the prosecutor against his former fellow officer and the GBI released a statement that said they hadn’t even completed their investigation into the incident.

Don Samuel, one of Officer Brosnan’s attorneys, said that his client’s actions that night had been “exemplary” and that the district attorney’s office hadn’t even bothered to take him up on the offer to review Officer Brosnan’s medical records from after the incident.

“Devin ends up taking out his Taser and yelling at him to ‘stop fighting, stop fighting,’” Samuel said. “Mr. Brooks grabbed the Taser from him and shoots… Devin gets shot with the Taser.”

The officer’s head hit the ground, giving him a concussion, according to his attorney.

In June, one of the attorneys for former Officer Rolfe accused the district attorney of behaving “unethically” and capitalizing on a series of national tragedies to help his re-election campaign.

“I’ve been prosecuting or defending Georgians in the criminal justice system for 25 years,” attorney Noah Pines said in a lengthy statement posted to the official Facebook page of the Georgia Law Enforcement Organization.

“But never in my career have I seen a District Attorney act so unethically without regard for his professional obligations in pursuit of reelection,” the statement said.

“Twice in the past few weeks Paul Howard has put his own ambitions ahead of the good of his constituents as he seeks to capitalize on a series of national tragedies,” Pines said. “Under Georgia’s Rule of Professional Conduct 3.8, Paul Howard is prohibited from making ‘extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused.’”

“In fact, he is only permitted to inform the ‘pubic of the nature and extent’ of his actions ‘that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose,’” the attorney for former Officer Rolfe continued. “He has violated that rule today and also made blatant false statements. He has also acted rashly, before the official investigation has been completed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).”

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) released a statement shortly after Howard announced the charges that said it had not yet concluded its investigation of the incident.

“Had Paul Howard waited for the GBI to complete its investigation he would have learned that while Rayshard Brooks’ death was tragic, Officer Garrett Rolfe’s actions were justified under Georgia law and that there is no legal basis to charge him with 11 felonies,” Pines said in his statement.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

View all articles
Written by Sandy Malone

Newsletter

Sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest events surrounding law enforcement!

Follow Me

Follow us on social media and be sure to mark us as "See First."

Sponsored: