Melissa Rolfe says she was fired from her job in a “political transfer” as a result of her stepson is ex-Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe.
In an interview Tuesday with Fox Information, Melissa Rolfe spoke intimately about what occurred after Garrett Rolfe was criminally charged for the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks on June 12 — which fueled protests in opposition to police brutality that already had been erupting over the dying of George Floyd. Aside from the continued felony case, Melissa Rolfe misplaced her job on June 18 because the human sources director of Fairness Prime Mortgage in Atlanta. Whereas the corporate has mentioned this was as a consequence of creating “a hostile work atmosphere,” Melissa Rolfe maintains she was fired due to her relationship to her stepson.
“It was a political transfer,” mentioned Rolfe, who has firmly stood by her stepson and mentioned the “conflict on cops” should finish.
Melissa Rolfe began at Fairness Prime Morgage in Atlanta in February because the human sources director for the corporate’s almost 400 nationwide workers, she mentioned.
Instantly after Brooks’ dying, which garnered nationwide consideration and sparked extra outcry from Black Lives Matter activists, Rolfe was assured she had the corporate’s assist. Fairness Prime Mortgage’s president Eddy Perez referred to as and provided Rolfe six to eight weeks of paid day off so she might be along with her household, Rolfe mentioned.
“I provided to earn a living from home and he mentioned ‘no, no don’t fret about it. Your job is secure,'” Rolfe mentioned. “‘Don’t fret about something…Simply maintain your loved ones.”
However the firm assist rapidly evaporated on June 18, a day after a Georgia District legal professional slapped Garrett Rolfe with 11 costs, together with felony homicide, which may doubtlessly result in the dying penalty. (A second officer, Devin Brosnan, is dealing with three costs, together with aggravated assault.)
After Melissa Rolfe and her husband had simply dropped off their son on the legal professional’s workplace to show himself into the authorities, Melissa had a 56-second name along with her direct supervisor. Fairness Prime Mortgage was terminating her instantly and did not present any motive. Her boss provided to pack up and ship her belongings from her workplace in Atlanta after which the dialog abruptly ended, she mentioned.
As Fox Information’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” reported June 19 about her abrupt dismissal, Fairness Prime Mortgage put out an announcement of causes for the firing that shocked Melissa Rolfe.
Fairness mentioned Rolfe was sacked for violating firm coverage and creating an uncomfortable working atmosphere for fellow workers. The corporate mentioned it values “variety of thought” however “when these views create a hostile working atmosphere, we should make tough selections and half methods.”
Rolfe was “surprised” on the allegation, particularly since she hadn’t been within the workplace since Brooks’ dying. And because the HR director, she’s effectively versed on firm insurance policies and maintains she did nothing improper.
“It was such false statements about me. Nothing was true.” Rolfe mentioned.
“After I would communicate with my direct supervisor and with the president, I used to be being assured that all the things was high quality within the workplace, regularly by way of the cellphone calls and textual content messages that I used to be receiving,” Rolfe mentioned. “Every little thing’s high quality. My job was high quality. Don’t fret about it. We’re not getting any detrimental suggestions. So I used to be very shocked at how I used to be in a position to create a hostile work atmosphere. I hadn’t been again.”
Fairness Prime Mortgage instructed Fox Information Tuesday “we’ve got no additional touch upon the matter.”
Rolfe suspects the corporate might have focused her for Fb postings the place she stood by Garrett and reached out to a native politician, Marjorie Greene, who has been outspoken on backing the blue.
On Melissa’s Fb web page she’s posted footage and notes backing her son’s innocence and standing up for cops, which have been the goal of nationwide protests within the wake of Floyd’s dying.
Rolfe has posted footage of Garrett in uniform saying “I stand with Officer Rolfe” and promoted the Georgia Legislation Enforcement Group’s fundraising page for Garrett’s authorized protection fund, which calls the capturing “justified.” On the afternoon of June 18, she spoke out in assist of the wave of officers calling out sick within the Atlanta Police Division, saying “Blue Flu should proceed and develop till Officer Garrett Rolfe is launched on bond!!”
Rolfe additionally reached out to Greene, who’s vying to turn out to be the subsequent congresswoman for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. “Our household has been fully devastated by all of this nonsense,” Rolfe wrote in thanking Greene for her pro-law enforcement positions.
Rolfe says nothing she did was a fireable offense and has not gotten any steerage from her former employer about what precisely that they had a difficulty with.
“We have heard rumors that it was as a consequence of a Fb put up,” Rolfe mentioned. “We heard the rumor that it was as a result of I reached out to our future Congresswoman Marjorie Greene, which I completely have the fitting to do. However once more, they’ve not mentioned something so I do not know what their precise place is.”
The corporate president, Perez, instructed Rolfe that a few of the safety guards within the Atlanta workplace had been upset along with her and had been making statements, she mentioned.
“Supposedly the assertion was ‘do you know your HR director’s son killed considered one of our brothers,'” Rolfe mentioned the president instructed her. “I used to be flabbergasted.”
Although she misplaced her job, Rolfe mentioned her husband nonetheless has full-time employment they usually’ve been lucky to have gotten donations to cowl Garrett’s authorized protection fund.
She mentioned she wish to work once more in HR, however has little interest in going again to Fairness Prime Mortgage due to how they handled her.
“I don’t need that job again,” Rolfe mentioned. “I’ve misplaced whole confidence with that firm. I would not really feel secure at that firm anymore. They’ve fully defamed me.”
Police body-camera video confirmed Brooks, 27, and officers having a peaceful and cooperative dialog for greater than 40 minutes. A battle erupted when police tried to handcuff Brooks for being intoxicated behind the wheel of his automobile at a Wendy’s drive-thru. Brooks grabbed a stun gun from one of many officers and fired it of their path as he tried to flee. Rolfe, in pursuit, opened fireplace with a handgun. Brooks died after he was shot twice within the again.
Legal professionals for Rolfe mentioned he used permissible drive as he feared for his security and people of the civilians round him.
Melissa Rolfe mentioned she’s targeted now on proving her stepson’s innocence. Garrett’s costs got here within the wake of nationwide disgust with then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was videotaped kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Activists took to the streets demanding racial justice and defunding the police. Politicians have come beneath stress to behave.
Rolfe mentioned her son is being unfairly lumped into the identical class as Chauvin, though the circumstances are completely different.
“I might say withhold your judgment…Let the reality come out,” mentioned Rolfe, who believes Garrett will finally be exonerated.
“I really feel prefer it was dangerous timing all the way in which round,” Rolfe mentioned, citing the unrest and protests in Atlanta and nationwide. “We’ve got a horrible conflict on cops, and it wants to finish.”
She urges individuals to face with the police, thank them for his or her service and purchase them a meal if they will.
“We’re making an attempt to cross that alongside as a result of this motion is a lot larger than simply Garrett,” Rolfe mentioned. “We would like to get the phrase out to say thanks to a police officer.”
The Related Press contributed to this report.