On Saturday, protesters shut down a major highway in Atlanta and burned down a Wendy’s restaurant where police shot a black man dead as he attempted to escape arrest, an the incident is likely to propel the most conflicts nationally over ethnicity and aggressive policing..
More than 45 minutes before fire fighters arrived to extinguish the blaze, covered by a line of police officers, local television reported, the restaurant was in flames. At that time, the house next to a gas station was reduced to burnt ruins.
Other demonstrators marched on Interstate-75, stopping traffic, before a line of squad cars was used by police to hold them back.
Erika Shields, the city’s police chief, resigned earlier on Saturday over the killing of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks on Friday night, which was caught on camera.
Police department has dismissed the officer who allegedly shot and killed Brooks late Saturday, police spokesman Carlos Campos said. Another officer involved was put on administrative leave in the incident. Both were officers.
The death of Brooks followed weeks of protests in major cities across the U.S. triggered by the death of George Floyd, an African American who died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt for nine minutes on his neck while detaining him.
Police department named the Atlanta officer fired after Friday’s incident as Garrett Rolfe who joined the force in October 2013. Devin Bronsan, who was hired in September 2018, is the officer placed on administrative duty.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she has accepted the Shields police chief ‘s prompt resignation.
“I wouldn’t think that was a reasonable use of deadly force and I demanded that the officer be shot immediately, “Bottoms said during a noon press conference.
Brooks was the father of a young daughter, who on Saturday celebrated her birthday, his lawyers said.
Close to the shooting scene, street protests began on Saturday with more than 100 people calling for the officers to be criminally charged in the case.
TO PARK LOT
Friday’s shooting came after police were called to the Wendy’s over reports that Brooks in the drive-thru line had fallen asleep. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, officers tried to take him into custody after failing a field sobriety test.
A bystander’s video shows Brooks fighting outside the Wendy’s with two officers on the ground before breaking free and running through the parking lot with what appears to be a police TASER in his pocket.
A second videotape from the cameras of the restaurant shows Brooks turning as he runs and possibly targeting the TASER at the officers pursuing before one of them fires his gun and Brooks falls to the ground.
Before turning back to an cop, Brooks walked the length of about six cars and pointed out what he had in his hand at the policeman, GBI chief Vic Reynolds told a press conference.
“At that point the Atlanta officer reaches down and picks up his weapon from his holster, unloads it, hits Mr. Brooks on the parking lot there and he goes down,” Reynolds said.
Lawyers representing the Brooks family told reporters that Atlanta police had no right to use deadly force even though they had fired a non-lethal weapon, the TASER, in their direction.
“You can’t shoot someone unless they point at you with a gun,” said counsel Chris Stewart.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, Jr., said in an emailed statement that his office “has already conducted an comprehensive, independent investigation into the accident” while awaiting the Georgia Investigation Bureau’s findings.
Bottoms said deputy chief Rodney Bryant, a black man who will serve as acting chief, will succeed Shields, a white woman appointed police chief in December 2016.