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Atlanta Police Killing of Rayshard Brooks Leads to Chief’s Resignation and New Wave of Protests

Atlanta Police Killing of Rayshard Brooks Leads to Chief’s Resignation and New Wave of Protests

Atlanta Police Chief Steps Down After Officer Kills 27-Year-Old Rayshard Brooks
(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Brooks was shot in a Wendy’s parking lot by a white police officer on Friday night.

Atlanta police chief Erika Shields has resigned following the killing of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks by a white officer.

According to The New York Timesthe altercation occurred on Friday night, when police were called to a Wendy’s where Brooks was found asleep behind the wheel of his car while parked in the drive-through lane. Officials claim Brooks failed a sobriety test and resisted arrest, grabbing the officer’s taser during a skirmish before giving chase. Security footage shows Brooks pointing the taser at the officer before being shot in the parking lot. Atlanta police sergeant John Chafee identified the officer in the shooting as Garrett Rolfe, claiming he’d been swiftly fired. The other officer at the scene, Devin Brosnan, has been reassigned to administrative duty, according to Chafee. In her statement, Shields claimed to be stepping down “out of a deep and abiding love for this city and this department,” as to “build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

In the statement announcing the chief’s resignation, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told the city, “While there may be debate as to whether this was an appropriate use of deadly force, I firmly believe that there is a clear distinction between what you can do and what you should do.” She added, “I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force.”

Mirroring an approach we’re seeing in police departments across the country who have come under fire for their handling of officer-involved shootings, the snappy response from APD marks a shift in tone and urgency, hoping to quell the city’s protest presence with rapid action and a measure of accountability. However, within hours of Brooks’ story going live, protestors arrived at the Wendy’s in Atlanta’s southside, spurring a violent clash with police. The restaurant was reportedly lit ablaze during the demonstration.

 

 

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