Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms held a brief press conference on Saturday to announce the termination of the police officer who shot and killed an unarmed Black man on Friday night.
27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was sleeping in his car in the Wendy’s drive-thru when the police woke him and attempted to arrest him for a DUI.
He was shot in the back after grabbing one officer’s taser and attempting to flee.
Mayor Bottoms said the shooting was not a justifiable use of excessive force, and the officer who fired his service weapon was fired. A second officer at the scene was placed on administrative duty.
Mayor Bottoms also announced the resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields (pictured). She said Shields “offered to immediately step down” to “rebuild the trust so desperately needed throughout our community.”
Shields will be reassigned to another position within the city government, and a nationwide search is underway for her replacement.
“To the family of Mr. Brooks, there are no words strong enough to express how sincerely sorry I am for your loss,” said Bottoms.
A crowd formed at the Wendy’s parking lot and marched holding signs on Saturday. Many Atlantans took to social media to condemn the shooting.
The fatal shooting comes three weeks after George Floyd’s death at the hands of a white police officer sparked protests and unrest across the country.
Update: Surveillance video shows Brooks on the ground struggling with two Atlanta PD officers. At some point, Brooks grabbed a taser from one of the cops and pointed it at him while fleeing.
Even if he was guilty of DUI.
Even if he resisted arrest.
Even if he struck a cop.
Even if he attempted to flee the scene.
— Jason Willan (@ConsultFantasy) June 13, 2020
Race soldiers with the Atlanta PD executed a Black man #RayshardBrooks last night.
Is Keisha Bottoms going to do another one of her sassy press conferences reprimanding those white officers the same way she reprimanded Black people for protesting?
— Tariq Nasheed ?? (@tariqnasheed) June 13, 2020
I suspect racist Americans will argue #RayshardBrooks shouldn't have ran; he made the officers fear for their lives; his unarmed back threatened them; so they had to shoot him in the back. Or, we'll hear about apples when another murderous tree has fallen.https://t.co/X72AFadaAC
— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) June 13, 2020
The killing of #RayshardBrooks in Atlanta last night demands we severely restrict the use of deadly force. Yes, investigations must be called for – but so too should accountability.
Sleeping in a drive-thru must not end in death. https://t.co/LKsiwA48Ll
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) June 13, 2020