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Judge grants bail to ex-officer charged with killing Rayshard Brooks

Protesters rally in the street in front of a Wendy's restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot by a white police officer on June 12. Photo by John Amis/EPA-EFE
Protesters rally in the street in front of a Wendy's restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot by a white police officer on June 12. Photo by John Amis/EPA-EFE

July 1 (UPI) -- A judge has granted bail to a former Atlanta police officer charged with murder for fatally shooting a black man in a Wendy's restaurant parking lot last month despite pleas from the victim's family for him to remain behind bars.

Judge Jane C. Barwick of the Superior Court of Fulton County granted a bond of $500,000 to Garrett Rolfe on Tuesday, explaining he did not pose either a flight risk or a risk to society.

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"I do not believe he is a danger to the community," Barwick said.

Rolfe has been detained at the Gwinnett County Jail since he surrendered to police on June 18, but he was expected to be released later Tuesday after putting up 10 percent, or $5,000, of the bond.

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Barwick ordered upon Rolfe's release that he wear an electronic monitoring anklet, follow a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and to surrender his passport, among other restrictions.

Rolfe faces 11 felony charges, including murder, three counts of aggravated assault and seven counts of violating the oath of an officer, for the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks on June 12 when he attempted to arrest the man for a suspected DUI.

Video of the arrest released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation shows Brooks taking a Taser from an officer, running from police and then firing the weapon at them before Rolfe opens fire.

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Devin Brosnan, a second officer on the scene, has been charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of violation of oath.

After the bond was set, L. Chris Stewart and Justin Miller, attorneys representing the Brooks family, issued a statement, stating their disappointment with Barwick's decision.

"While the family of Rayshard Brooks is disappointed that his killer was granted bond today, they understand that this is just one step in the long quest for justice for Rayshard," the lawyers said.

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The decision was handed down after Brooks' wife, Tomika Miller, asked Barwick to deny Rolfe bail.

"[Rolfe] has already shown he's a danger to the community," she said. "The way he stood over my husband and kicked his body, and I can only imagine what he felt and how scared he was at that time. Killing him wasn't enough. They stood there when something could've been done to save him."

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