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19 Jun, 2020 15:42

Guilt by association? Stepmom of Atlanta cop who shot Rayshard Brooks fired from mortgage firm in dubious circumstances

Guilt by association? Stepmom of Atlanta cop who shot Rayshard Brooks fired from mortgage firm in dubious circumstances

The stepmother of Atlanta ex-cop Garrett Rolfe has been fired from her job at Equity Prime Mortgage. The company gave conflicting reasons for the firing, and many suspect it has more to do with who her son is than her work.

Melissa Rolfe was quietly let go as human resources director at Equity Prime Mortgage (EPM) on Thursday. The company did not initially publicize the firing, though it did release a vague statement touting its mission to support “communities of color” and embody the principles of “diversity, equality and inclusion” that did not mention Rolfe by name.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson called attention to the termination on his Thursday-night show, declaring that Rolfe’s “only crime was being Officer Rolfe’s stepmother.” Garrett Rolfe turned himself in on Thursday, after a warrant was issued for his arrest. The order was linked to last week’s shooting of Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man found sleeping in a Wendy’s drive-through lane who attacked police when they tried to arrest him for driving while intoxicated.

Carlson claimed EPM had contacted his producers during a commercial break to explain Rolfe was let go over her social media postings.

EPM subsequently appeared to change its story, releasing a second statement just before midnight on Thursday that accused Rolfe of “violating company policy” and “creating an uncomfortable working environment for many of our employees.” The firm acknowledged it had initially granted her a leave of absence, explaining it then “discovered” the “violation” and showed her the door.

Rolfe was already gone from the company’s website by the time Carlson’s segment aired, though her bio can still be accessed via the Wayback Machine. It’s unclear what social media posts the company was initially referring to, though some have pointed to a message shared on the Facebook page for Marjorie Taylor Greene for Congress with a link to a fundraising page for Officer Rolfe. Melissa Rolfe does not appear to currently have a public social media presence under her own name.

Many on social media questioned the decision to fire Rolfe, reasoning that an HR director would know her company’s social media policies well enough not to run afoul of them, and accusing the firm of engaging in guilt by association. Some called for a boycott or suggested Rolfe should sue her former employer, and the firm’s tweets were heavily ratioed.

The younger Rolfe was fired from the police force following the Brooks shooting, after massive public demonstrations and rioting that saw the Wendy’s where Brooks was shot set on fire. However, the decision to charge him with felony murder on Wednesday sent shockwaves through the city, leading dozens of Atlanta cops to walk off the job.

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