The chief of Atlanta Police has resigned after officers shot and killed 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks, a Black man, at a Wendy’s restaurant on Friday night.
The police were responding to a call about someone sleeping in his car, which was parked in the drive-thru at the restaurant.
Police said that Rayshard Brooks, 27, resisted arrest following a failed sobriety test. But video posted to social media showed Brooks running away from police before he is shot off-screen.
“I do not believe this was a justified use of deadly force and have called for the immediate termination of the officer,” the city’s mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news conference on Saturday.
The Georgia NAACP had called for Atlanta’s chief of police Erika Shields to be fired prior to her resignation.
CNN reported that the officer who shot Brooks was fired on Saturday, while his partner was placed on administrative duty.
On Friday night, two officers found Brooks in the vehicle and gave him a field sobriety test, which they said he failed. While attempting to arrest Brooks, police said he resisted.
“After failing the test, the officers attempted to place the male subject into custody,” Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) spokesperson Nelly Miles said in a statement. “During the arrest, the male subject resisted and a struggle ensued. The officer deployed a Taser.”
Witnesses said Brooks grabbed the Taser from the officer before being shot, according to the GBI.
Brooks was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The GBI said it’s now investigating the incident.
Video posted to social media shows people gathered in the Wendy’s parking lot condemning the shooting. Witnesses said Brooks was not armed.
Angry protesters set a fire at the Wendy’s where Brooks was shot shortly after 9.30pm Saturday, local Fox News-5 reported. The blaze was started after windows were smashed and fireworks were hurled inside, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
An Atlanta fire department representative told the newspaper that the blaze grew because it wasn’t safe to get to the restaurant when the fire began. He estimated there were 1,000 protesters near the building. Firefighters finally began to battle the blaze around 11pm, but by then a section of the interior appeared to be engulfed in flames.
Earlier, protesters set fire to cars parked outside Wendy’s — and shut down part of Interstate 75/85, a major city thoroughfare.
Late last month Shields fired two city police officers for roughly dragging two young Black people from a car and apparently shocking them with stun guns as anti-racism protests erupted across the nation.
Brooks’ death comes amid nationwide protests over the death of African American George Floyd during a brutal arrest in Minneapolis.