Atlanta PD officer Garrett Rolfe has been fired following the deadly Friday night shooting of Rayshard Brooks, while another officer, Devin Bronsan, has been placed on administrative leave, according to 11 Alive – citing an Atlanta Police spokesman just after midnight on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields will be stepping down following the incident.
Brooks, who had fallen asleep at the wheel at a Wendy’s drive-thru, was shot by an officer after he grabbed one of their Tasers and pointed it at them as he was running away. He died later that evening at Grady Memorial Hospital.
In response to the shooting, protesters set the Wendy’s on fire:
Atlanta ain’t having it…. they burnt that Wendy’s down Quick. pic.twitter.com/oLDI37kG2d
— DJ Kam Bennett (@KameronBennett) June 14, 2020
Atlanta: Wendy’s on University Ave. on fire as protests have taken over the interstate in response to the killing of Rayshard Brooks by police on Friday.
Police chief Erika Shields has reportedly resigned following weeks of protest. Video: CBS affiliate pic.twitter.com/6d9OthFBrQ
— Camila (@camilateleSUR) June 14, 2020
A CNN crew was attacked by peaceful protesters at the scene:
Wow. CNN crew attacked by ‘peaceful protestors’ at the Wendy’s in Atlanta. pic.twitter.com/SHs0Sj8R2a
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) June 14, 2020
The group then began to set fires nearby:
After setting Wendy’s is on fire, the protesters/rioters now set other small fires & looting a gas station.
Fire department is not responding due to unsafe conditions & the crowd is still growing. #AtlantaRiot#LawAndOrderpic.twitter.com/asya112LA1
— ~Marietta✌ (@_MariettaDavis) June 14, 2020
* * *
The latest police killing of an “unarmed” black man unfolded Friday night in Atlanta, and footage released Saturday afternoon is already causing a major uproar in the city. Activists are demanding that Atlanta’s police chief Erika Shields, whose statements to the press and willingness to push deescalation tactics made her a media darling during the unrest that followed the killing of George Floyd.
Though the only details of the incident so far involve grainy cellphone camera footage, it’s clear in the video that one of the two APD officers involved in the incident shot a suspect in the back as he was running away after wresting one of the officer’s tasers away from him.
The Georgia NAACP claimed the APD needs “a serious overhaul” and argued that the deceased suspect, later identified as Rayshard Brooks, 27, was killed for “sleeping” (not for attacking two officers and stealing one of their weapons).
@KeishaBottoms, @Atlanta_Police needs a serious overhaul. The continuation of these kinds of actions require immediate resolution. Instead of seeing an improvement, it continues to happen day after day.
Chief Shields must be relieved immediately. https://t.co/cHQMdosqip
— Georgia NAACP (@Georgia_NAACP) June 13, 2020
The footage posted to twitter earlier shows Brooks successfully wrestle both officers to the ground before running off with the taser. At the end of the video, several gunshots ring out, though the shooting of Brooks isn’t shown.
ATLANTA PD SHOOT AND KILL AN UNARMED MAN
— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) June 13, 2020
Meanwhile, protesters showed up Saturday to Washington DC’s “Black Lives Matter” plaza where smaller protests have been ongoing every day. Saturday marked the 16th day of demonstrations.
Here’s what happened according to the Washington Post: the ADP received a call and was dispatched to a local Wendy’s Friday night following a complaint about a man parked and asleep in the drive-through, according to a preliminary report from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The situation escalated when the two officers tried taking Brooks, 27, into custody. He resisted, and the situation quickly became violent.
Atlanta activists wrote Saturday that “ADP shot another unarmed black man in South Atlanta. Details are still coming and our rage continues.”
The GBI’s preliminary report told a different story.
“During the arrest, the male subject resisted and a struggle ensued,” GBI said. “The officer deployed a Taser. Witnesses report that during the struggle the male subject grabbed and was in possession of the Taser. It has also been reported that the male subject was shot by an officer in the struggle over the Taser.”
Brooks died Saturday morning at a local hospital after emergency surgery.
Brooks’s death marks the 48th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate since the start of 2020. Ahmaud Arbery was also shot and killed in Georgia, though his assailants – who will all stand trial for murder – weren’t cops.
Once the GBI completes its independent investigation, the case will be turned over to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office for review. Later on Saturday, the Fulton County DA’s office said it had already launched “an intense, independent investigation of the incident” and that personnel were dispatched to the scene immediately after the shooting. One local outlet said both officers involved have been removed from duty pending an investigation.