US: Anger in Atlanta over fatal shooting of black man

14th Jun 2020
US: Anger in Atlanta over fatal shooting of black man

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON (AA): As nationwide protests slowed in the death of George Floyd, anger again erupted Saturday in the US over the fatal shooting of another black man.

Atlanta police officer has been sacked following the fatal shooting, and another has been placed on administrative duty, the police department has announced.

The moves follow the resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, who stepped down as the Friday night killing of Rayshard Brooks, 27.

The dismissed officer was named as Garrett Rolfe, who was hired in October 2013, while Devin Bronsan, who joined in September 2018, was placed on administrative duty, according to a release from police spokesman Sergeant John Chafee.

Rolfe shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, 27, at a Wendy’s fast food restaurant drive-thru Friday night.

Brooks struggled with officers who were responding to complaints he was sleeping in the drive-thru of the restaurant, according to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation statement.

An officer pulled his Taser that Brooks managed to grab, after which an officer shot him.

Surveillance video from the restaurant shows that during a physical struggle with police, Brooks obtained one of the officer’s stun guns and began to flee, GBI said in a statement Saturday afternoon.

“Video appears to show to the naked eye Brooks running away four, five, six, seven parking spaces before he appears to turn around and point a Taser at an officer. At that point the officer retrieves his weapon from his holster and discharges it, striking Brooks. This account has been corroborated by witness interviews,” said GBI Director Vic Reynolds.

A copy of the video was released to the public Saturday afternoon.

Crowds began to gather at the site around noon Saturday but by night a massive crowd amassed near Interstate 75/85, which disrupted traffic. Footage on social media showed cars backed up because of the protests.

Protesters set fire to the Wendy’s where Brooks was killed. Local reports said a group also set fire to vehicles near the fast-food restaurant.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Atlanta Police Chief Ericka Shields voluntarily stepped down from the department earlier in the day.

Bottoms called for an “immediate termination” of the officer who killed Brooks.

“Chief Shields has offered to immediately step aside as police chief so that the city may move forward with urgency in rebuilding the trust so desperately needed throughout our communities,” said the mayor.

Protests nationwide have continued for more than two weeks in response to Floyd’s May 25 death.

He died in police custody after a white Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer knelt on his neck while he was pinned on the ground for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The since-fired officer held the position even after Floyd appeared to lose consciousness.

Derek Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, and the three other officers at the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: Demonstrators set on fire Wendy’s fast food drive thru restaurant during the protest after an Atlanta police officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, 27 in Atlanta, United States on June 14, 2020. Photographer: Ben Hendren/AA]

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