Protests continue in US Atlanta after officer shoots and kills black man

Protesters march near the Georgia Capitol on June 13, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

ATLANTA, Jun 14, 2020, CBS News, CNN. Protesters in Atlanta on Saturday shut down an interstate highway in both directions and set fire to a Wendy’s where police shot and killed a black man the night before. Earlier Saturday, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields stepped down down from the role as tensions mounted over the shooting, CBS News reported.

The fire appeared to be contained shortly before midnight. And the protests were largely peaceful with no reported clashes with police in riot gear, according to CBS Atlanta affiliate WGCL-TV

Surveillance footage released Saturday show the man, Rayshard Brooks, 27, running away from police after he took a Taser from an officer before he was killed.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she does not “believe that this was a justified use of deadly force.”

The officer who shot Brooks was fired Saturday night, according to the Atlanta Police Department.

Atlanta police said they were called to the Wendy’s drive-thru Friday night after receiving a complaint that the driver of a vehicle had fallen asleep, forcing customers to move around him. When police arrived around 10:30 p.m. they said they performed a sobriety test on Brooks.

According to police, Brooks failed the test and resisted arrest.

“A field sobriety test was performed on the male subject. After failing the test, the officers attempted to place the male subject into custody,” reads a press release from police. “During the arrest, the male subject resisted and a struggle ensued. The officer deployed a Taser.”

Later in the day, the GBI said it had reviewed new footage of the incident that shows “Brooks obtained one of the officer’s Tasers and began to flee from the scene.”

“Officers pursued Brooks on foot and, during the chase, Brooks turned and pointed the Taser at the officer. The officer fired his weapon, striking Brooks,” the GBI wrote Saturday on Twitter.

Brooks was taken to a local hospital where he died after surgery, according to the GBI. One officer was treated for an injury and discharged from the hospital.

Later the Atlanta Police Department has released the names and pictures of the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks, CNN reported.

“Officer Bronsan has been placed on administrative duty and Officer Rolfe has been terminated,” the Atlanta Police Department said in a press release.

Devin Bronsan was hired on September 20, 2018, while Garrett Rolfe was hired on October 24, 2013, according to the release.

The deadly shooting comes just two weeks after multiple Atlanta police officers were fired and charged over a dramatic incident involving two college students who were yanked from a car stuck in traffic during a George Floyd protest against racial inequality and police brutality on May 30. The officers used a stun gun on the driver and passenger. Footage of the incident was broadcast live by CBS Atlanta affiliate WGCL-TV.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Brooks’ death marks the 48th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate this year alone.

The agency said it “will continue its independent investigation” into the incident, adding, “once completed, the case will be turned over to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office for review.”

Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. said in a statement Saturday that his office has “already launched an intense, independent investigation of the incident.”

Earlier Saturday, the Georgia NAACP created a petition calling for Atlanta’s Police Chief Erika Shields to be terminated. In addition to listing Brooks and the May 30 incident, the petition also names two other recent examples of police brutality. One of the incidents, the 2016 fatal shooting of Jamarion Robinson — another unarmed black man — involved one of the same officers charged in the May incident, WGCL-TV reports.

“This uprising has been a result of the inabilities of elected officials to ensure proper judgment necessary to arrest, indict, and convict officers who repeatedly murder innocent, unarmed Black bodies,” reads the NAACP petition.

“The Atlanta Police Department continues to terrorize protestors and murder unarmed Black bodies. It’s time for new leadership and a change of policing culture. Stand with us and call for her immediate resignation.”

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