Barely a month when an American poice killed a black man identified as George Floyd and Atlanta’s police chief resigned Saturday hours after a Black man was fatally shot by officers in a struggle following a field sobriety test. Authorities said the slain man had grabbed an officer’s Taser, but was running away when he was shot.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the resignation of Police Chief Erika Shields at a Saturday news conference as roughly 150 protesters marched outside the Wendy’s restaurant where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot late Friday. The mayor also said she called for the immediate firing of the officer who opened fire at Brooks.
“I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force and have called for the immediate termination of the officer,” Bottoms said.
She said it was Shields’ own decision to step aside as police chief and that she would remain with the city in an undetermined role. Interim Corrections Chief Rodney Bryant would serve as interim police chief until a permanent replacement is found.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is investigating the shooting, said the deadly confrontation started with officers responding to a complaint that a man was sleeping in a car blocking the restaurant’s drive-thru lane. The GBI said Brooks failed a field sobriety test and then resisted officers’ attempts to arrest him.
The GBI released security camera video of the shooting Saturday. The footage shows a man running from two police officers as he raises a hand, which is holding some type of object, toward an officer a few steps behind him. The officer draws his gun and fires as the man keeps running, then falls to the ground in the parking lot.
GBI Director Vic Reynolds said Brooks had grabbed a Taser from one of the officers and appeared to point it at the officer as he fled, prompting the officer to reach for his gun.
“In a circumstance like this where an officer is involved in the use of deadly force, the public has a right to know what happened,” GBI Director Vic Reynolds told a news conference on a day when protesters gathered at the scene of the shooting and in other areas of Atlanta.
The security camera video does not show Brooks’ the initial struggle with police.