Atlanta police officers protest the filing for murder charges against Garrett Rolfe, the officer who shot Rayshard Brooks in the back, by calling out sick Thursday.
Interim Chief Rodney Bryant acknowledges that the member of the force felt abandoned during the recent protests calling for significant changes to the force.
Sick calls began Wednesday night and continued Thursday, but Bryant assured that the department has enough work forces to protect the city.
“Some are angry. Some are fearful. Some are confused on what we do in this space. Some may feel abandoned,” he said in an interview. “But we are there to assure them that we will continue to move forward and get through this.”
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced that Rolfe now faces a total of 11 criminal charges including felony murder.
Howard pointed out that Brooks was not a deadly threat at the time of the incident, and that the officer kicked the wounded Brooks without offering medical treatment as he lay dying for over two minutes.
Devin Brosnan, the other officer on the scene, was charged with aggravated assault and violation of his oath as he stood on Brook’s shoulder while he struggled for his life.
Rolfe has since been fired and Brosnan assigned to do desk duty.
The officers turned themselves in on Thursday; Brosnan was released on a $30,000 signature bond while Rolfe stays locked up without bond.
Police chief Erika Shields resigned less than 24 hours after Friday’s shooting, and Bryant took over as interim chief.
Bryant expressed his surprise at the speed of the prosecution’s action in relation to Brook’s killing, noting that even the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is not yet done with their own investigation.
To show solidarity with the officers, Bryant opted to wear a navy blue shirt during the interview Thursday, instead of a white shirt typically worn by command staff.