Atlanta Police Chief Resigns After Cops Fatally Shoot Black Man
Protests simmered across Atlanta over the shooting of the African-American man, Rayshard Brooks.
The US city of Atlanta's Chief of Police resigned on Saturday, 13 June, after two white officers fatally shot a young African-American man at a parking lot while trying to arrest him.
Rayshard Brooks, 27, died after being shot on the night of Friday, 12 June, in the parking lot of a Wendy's fast food restaurant in Atlanta, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said in a statement on Saturday.
The incident started to take shape at 10:33 pm when police rushed to the parking lot after receiving a "complaint that a man was asleep in a vehicle parked in front of the (food collection) window, forcing other customers to drive around the car" to order food, the GBI said.
The officers tested Brooks for blood alcohol and, after confirming that he was drunk, tried to stop him, but the young man "resisted and started a struggle".
"The police officer pulled out an electric shock pistol, and witnesses say that, during the struggle, the man (Brooks) grabbed that electric pistol," it added.
A video of the incident has gone viral on social media,
The video, which the GBI is reviewing, shows the struggle between the agents and Brooks, he can be seen fleeing from the spot, chased by one of the policemen.
The footage does not show the moment Brooks is shot, only an instant in which the young African-American appears on the ground, but the GBI confirmed that the police officer “shot” him with a firearm and that the wounded man was “transferred to a local hospital, where he died after the operation.”
Atlanta Mayor African-American Keisha Lance Bottoms announced at a press conference on Saturday afternoon that the city's Chief of Police, Erika Shields, had resigned.
The announcement came shortly after local activists demanded Shields' resignation as protests intensified across Atlanta.
"To Mr Brooks' family, there are no words strong enough to express how sincerely I regret his loss," said Bottoms.
The Mayor also opined that what happened was “not a justified use of lethal force” and called for “the immediate dismissal of the agent” who shot Brooks.
Addressing the media on Saturday, Vic Reynolds, the Director of the GBI, said that the restaurant's security cameras captured how Brooks, after fleeing from the agents, turned around and pointed the agent with the electric shock pistol.
"At that time the Atlanta agent grabbed his gun, shot it, and hit Brooks in the parking lot, and he fell to the ground," Reynolds explained.
The GBI Director promised that his agency would publish the video from security cameras and that he would work to "enlarge" and improve the definition of his frames within his investigation, and asked the public "not to rush when it comes to conclusions” on what happened.
Protests in Atlanta
Meanwhile, a group of protesters marched onto a highway in Atlanta late Saturday night over the deadly police shooting.
According to local media outlets, the protesters held a line on the Interstate 85 and Interstate 75 connector, blocking multiple vehicles, including police cars.
Brooks' killing came after the 25 May death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, in police custody in Minneapolis, which has triggered massive protests in home and abroad.
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