“We recognize that the community is eager for a resolution and we ask for patience as we begin our work,” Skandalakis said.
Skandalakis has prosecuted a number of high-profile murder cases, as well as some public corruption cases. In 2008, he secured the guilty plea and five-year prison sentence against former Luthersville Police Chief David Yates for charges stemming from sexual encounters with two women.
In a recent interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Willis said the Brooks case is fraught with peril.
“I believe that case has layers of problems because of the way it was inappropriately handled,” said Willis, who declined comment on the Skandalakis appointment. “In my opinion it’s unfair to everyone involved. And it has made things difficult for whoever ends up ultimately with that case.”
Brooks was in the process of being handcuffed for a suspected DUI when he broke free, hitting Brosnan, who doctors later determined suffered a concussion. Brooks grabbed Brosnan’s Taser, aiming it in Rolfe’s direction as he fled from the scene. Rolfe then shot Brooks. Both officers are white. Brooks was Black.
Rolfe’s defenders say he was merely following his training. The 28-year-old officer, fired the day after the shooting by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, was recently reinstated to the force by the Atlanta Civil Service Board. The order did not return him to active duty.
Noah Pines is one of Rolfe’s attorneys.
“Now that the State is represented we are looking forward to getting a hearing scheduled on our motion to modify Officer Rolfe’s bond so he can go back to work,” he said.
Terms of Rolfe’s bond prevents him from possessing a firearm or being around other officers.
Attorney Chris Stewart, who represents Brooks’ family, said the long delay has been difficult on his clients.
“I know Pete. He’s a good guy and lawyer,” Stewart said. “I’m confident he will set an example for all prosecutors on seeking justice for the Brooks family.”
Stewart also represents Taniyah Pilgrim, a Spelman college student who, along with her boyfriend, Messiah Young, were stunned with Tasers and arrested for violating a curfew imposed during civil unrest last year in downtown Atlanta. Six APD officers were charged for what prosecutors deemed as unnecessary force.
Willis sought recusal from that case as well. Carr on Wednesday named Cherokee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Samir Patel as the new lead prosecutor in that case. In a statement, Carr’s office said, “District Attorney Patel’s experience as a prosecutor, a public defender and a judge will serve him well as he takes over this case.”(c)2021 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.