ATLANTA — The former Atlanta Police Department officer who fatally shot a Black man after a confrontation outside a fast-food restaurant had been issued a written reprimand in 2016 for another use-of-force incident involving the use of a firearm, according to records released by the department.
The disciplinary history of the former officer, Garrett Rolfe, who was fired this weekend after the shooting, does not include details of the 2016 use-of-force case, or a number of other incidents he was involved in since being hired in 2013.
These include four citizen complaints, which resulted in no disciplinary action, and five vehicle accidents, which resulted in an “oral admonishment” in 2014 and a written reprimand in 2018.
The department also released a file that showed no previous disciplinary record for Devin Brosnan, the other officer who responded to the fast-food restaurant Friday and encountered Rayshard Brooks, who was fatally shot as he fled from the officers.
New York Times
Virginia governor proposes Juneteenth as holiday
RICHMOND — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said Tuesday he will propose making Juneteenth — a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States — an official holiday in a state that was once home to the capital of the Confederacy.
Juneteenth, which is also called Emancipation Day and Freedom Day, is celebrated annually on June 19. Texas made it a state holiday in 1980.
The holiday would be a paid day off for all state employees. Northam said he thinks Virginia would be only the second state to do so.
The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, when news finally reached the Black population in Texas that President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves living in Confederate states two years earlier. When Union soldiers arrived in Galveston to bring the news that slavery had been abolished, former slaves celebrated.
State House Republican leader Todd Gilbert said he is proud to support the proposed legislation and Juneteenth “is deserving of its own special recognition and observance.’’
“July 4th is the birthday of our nation, but Juneteenth is the day where it truly began to fulfill its promise of freedom for all,’’ Gilbert said. “For the first time since enslaved Africans landed at Jamestown in 1619, the chains of bondage were finally cast off.’’
Group documents 6,500 lynchings from 1877-1950
A group that founded the nation’s first memorial to lynching victims said Tuesday it has documented thousands of additional killings of Black people during the Reconstruction era.
The Equal Justice Initiative said it has now documented nearly 6,500 lynchings of Black people between 1877 and 1950. The group, which previously documented 4,500 lynchings, on Tuesday released a new report titled “Reconstruction in America” that documents nearly an additional 2,000 lynchings between 1865 and 1876.
“We cannot understand our present moment without recognizing the lasting damage caused by allowing white supremacy and racial hierarchy to prevail during Reconstruction,” Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson said in a statement released with the report.
The lynchings, concentrated but not limited to the South, after the Civil War came as enslaved people were newly freed, but mobs attacked their attempts to live freely and participate in the political process.
The report documented 34 mass lynchings. In Opelousas, La., in 1868 an estimated 200 black people were killed over several days after trying to participate in the political process.
The report said the review of available records, “paints a haunting and devastating picture of a period of deadly attacks that yielded thousands of documented victims and terrorized Black communities across the South with near-daily acts of lynching and assault.”
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a memorial to lynching victims, opened in 2018. The memorial is about a mile from the Alabama Capitol.
Mother of victim files for wrongful death lawsuit
INDIANAPOLIS — The mother of a Black man who was killed by an Indianapolis police officer filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday against the city, its police department, and four officers, including the one who fired the fatal shots.
The suit alleges the Indianapolis Police Department failed to adequately train, screen, and supervise officers to prevent them from engaging in excessive or deadly force, including Dejoure Mercer, the Black officer who shot and killed Dreasjon Reed, 21, on May 6 during a foot chase.
Police have said they began pursuing Reed after officers saw someone driving recklessly on Interstate 65. An officer later spotted the car on a city street and chased Reed on foot before police say Reed and the officer exchanged gunfire.
Attorneys for Reed’s family have insisted that he didn’t exchange gunfire with the officer.