Miami police union pledges to fund defense for cop who shot Rayshard Brooks
This screen grab taken from body camera video provided by the Atlanta Police Department shows Rayshard Brooks speaking with Officer Garrett Rolfe in the parking lot of a Wendy's restaurant, late Friday, June 12, 2020, in Atlanta. Rolfe has been fired following the fatal shooting of Brooks. Image via Atlanta Police Department via AP

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Brooks death sparked outrage after a week of police protests.

A Miami police union has rushed to the defense of a Georgia police officer charged with murdering Rayshard Brooks.

In a letter from Tommy Reyes, president of the Fraternal Order of Police’s Miami lodge, he defends the actions of Officer Garrett Rolfe, the officer fired and charged with felony murder following the fatal shooting that left Brooks dead.

Unlike the widely condemned police tactic that led to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and inspired nationwide protests, Brooks’ fatal shooting, in which he took a police taser, fled and ultimately pointed it at police, has proven more divisive.

“Here at the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, we believe in law and order,” Reyes wrote in his letter. “We believe that Officer Rolfe acted within the law and his decision to use deadly force was warranted. Officer Rolfe was protecting himself and society from a violent offender who refused to go to jail.”

The Miami FOP pledged to donate $10,000 for a legal defense fund for Rolfe, funded in part with personal donations from police.

The gesture comes as police across the country express support for Rolfe. Atlanta Police participated in a sick-in on Thursday over the decision to prosecute.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, however, said Brooks did not pose a deadly threat so the use of deadly force was inappropriate. Another officer on scene, David Brosnan, was charged with aggravated assault for his own actions, including standing on Brooks shoulder as he struggled.

Reyes said police are growing more concerns about the heavy criticism of officers doing their jobs.

“We are deeply concerned about the direction that our profession is headed,” he wrote. “The noble mean and women of law enforcement are under siege. Officers go to work and place their lives on the line everyday not knowing if they will return to their families at the end of their shifts. An offender who makes a conscious decision to break the law, then fights and resists the police should not be given a pass.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Randall Kusiak

    June 22, 2020 at 8:58 am

    i myself will also contribute to the officers fund. as a private citizen it is time for us to stand up and back our police dept. and i am a resident of florida

Comments are closed.


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