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Georgia nonprofit raises funds for legal fees of officer charged with murder of Rayshard Brooks

Atlanta officers surrender in Brooks death
Atlanta officers surrender in Brooks death 03:03

A law enforcement nonprofit is raising funds for one of the fired Atlanta police officers charged in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks. Garrett Rolfe was charged with felony murder, along with 10 other charges, in connection with Brooks' death. The Georgia Law Enforcement Organization has now started a fundraiser for Rolfe to help him pay his legal fees. 

The Organization said their funds are "used when officer's experience a life-changing event." They also said they have raised enough funds to cover Rolfe's legal expenses, but the fight is not over. So far, they have raised $250,000 according to WSB-TV.

On June 12, Rolfe and another officer, Devin Brosnan, arrived at Wendy's drive-thru around 10:30 p.m. after police were called because Brooks had fallen asleep in his vehicle.

Police said Brooks failed a sobriety test and struggled with police when they tried to cuff him. Brooks wrestled a Taser away from an officer, ran from the officers, and at one point, aimed the Taser at police before Rolfe fired his weapon, authorities said.

Brooks died after undergoing surgery at a nearby hospital. An autopsy said he suffered two gunshot wounds to his back and listed the manner of death as a homicide.

Both Rolfe and Brosnan turned themselves in on Thursday, according to jail records and their attorneys. Brosnan was charged with aggravated assault and oath violations.

The fundraising page for Rolfe attempts to make a case for the officers' innocence, claiming that body camera footage shows them "being overly nice and polite to [Brooks] the entire time all the way up until the handcuffs were about to go on, as they should've been."

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, who brought the charges against the officers, said the officers failed to provide "timely" medical attention to Brooks for two minutes after he was shot and that Rolfe kicked Brooks as he was lying on the ground "fighting for his life."

Lawyers for Rolfe claimed the former officer "feared for his safety" and the safety of those around him. "Mr. Brooks violently attacked two officers and disarmed one of them. When Mr. Brooks turned and pointed an object at Officer Rolfe, any officer would have reasonably believed that he intended to disarm, disable, or seriously injure him," the lawyers said.

While protests against police brutality and racial injustice continue throughout the country, and campaigns to defund the police have gain traction, some counter protests in support of the police have begun. The official "Blue Lives Matter" Twitter has shared a link for Georgia Law Enforcement Organization's fundraiser for Rolfe. Many are also tweeting their support for Rolfe using the #BacktheBlue hashtag. 

CBS News has reached out to Georgia Law Enforcement Organization and is awaiting response. 

Justin Carissimo contributed to this report.

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