Fire and frustration erupted in Atlanta last night in response to the shooting death of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks at a Wendy’s restaurant by police on Friday.
Protestors who were already on the streets for weeks demonstrating against the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, set fire to the Wendy’s building on University Drive in Atlanta where Brooks was shot while running from police:
At least 36 people were arrested in the protests which also spilled out onto a major interstate in Atlanta, CNN reported.
On Sunday, Atlanta police revealed the names of the officers involved in the shooting of Brooks and announced that the cop who killed him has been fired:
The officer who killed Brooks was terminated Saturday, police spokesman Carlos Campos said. He was identified by police as Garrett Rolfe. A second officer involved in the killing was placed on administrative duty, Campos said. That officer was Devin Bronsan, police said in a statement.
Rolfe was hired in 2013 and Bronsan has been with the department since 2018, police said.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms had called for the officer’s termination at a press conference on Saturday, where she also announced that Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields has stepped down from her role.
“I do not believe this was a justified use of deadly force,” the Mayor said.
The GBI has since released surveillance footage from the Wendy’s that appear to show Brooks holding a taser he wrestled from the officers, before he is shot and falls to the ground:
“It does appear in the video that he is fleeing from the Atlanta police officers, that as he’s fleeing he turns back over his shoulder with what appears to the naked eye to be his Taser that the eyewitnesses told us they saw the individual have that belonged to one of the officers,” a GBI spokesperson said at a press conference about the incident, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“You’ll be able to see on the video the Atlanta officer, literally reach down to get his service weapon and as he gets his weapon, Mr. Brooks begins turning his body away from him, I presume to flee,” he added.
“(The officer) had other options instead of shooting him in the back,” said Chris Stewart, a lawyer hired by the family of the deceased, according to AJC.
Brooks is survived by four children, three daughters and a stepson.
Questions now abound about why police was called to the scene to apprehend Brooks, who was reportedly asleep and parked in the drive-thru of the Wendy’s on the night he was killed.
“Sleeping in a drive-thru must not end in death,” former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said on Twitter in response to the killing.
“We’ve been protesting about George Floyd and I thought there was going to be a change, but there wasn’t a change, it was still the same old thing,” a protestor in Atlanta told CNN on Saturday.
“I thought the message was clear, but obviously we’re still not heard.”