Protesters shut down a major highway in Atlanta on Saturday and set fire to a Wendy's restaurant where a black man was shot by police as he tried to escape arrest, an incident caught on video and sure to fuel more nationwide demonstrations.Got that? Black man drunk or on other drugs. Resists arrests. Attacks cops with taser gun. White cops shoot man. Rioters burn down fast-food restaurant. Police chief fired.
The unrest broke out after dark in Atlanta, where earlier in the day Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she had accepted the prompt resignation of police chief Erika Shields over the death on Friday night of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks at the Wendy's.
The police department has terminated the officer who allegedly shot and killed Brooks, police spokesman Carlos Campos confirmed late on Saturday. Another officer involved in the incident was put on administrative leave.
Authorities have not yet released the names of the two officers, both of whom were white.
Images on local television showed the restaurant in flames for more than 45 minutes before fire crews arrived to extinguish the blaze, protected by a line of police officers. By that time the building was reduced to charred rubble next to a gas station. ...
Police were called to the Wendy's over reports that Brooks had fallen asleep in the drive-thru line. Officers attempted to take him into custody after he failed a field sobriety test, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Video shot by a bystander captures Brooks struggling with two officers on the ground outside the Wendy's before breaking free and running across the parking lot with what appears to be a police TASER in his hand.
A second videotape from the restaurant's cameras shows Brooks turning as he runs and possibly aiming the TASER at the pursuing officers before one of them fires his gun and Brooks falls to the ground.
Brooks ran the length of about six cars when he turned back toward an officer and pointed what he had in his hand at the policeman, said Vic Reynolds, director of the GBI at a separate press conference.
"At that point, the Atlanta officer reaches down and retrieves his weapon from his holster, discharges it, strikes Mr. Brooks there on the parking lot and he goes down," Reynolds said.
Lawyers representing the family of Brooks told reporters that Atlanta police had no right to use deadly force even if he had fired the TASER, a non-lethal weapon, in their direction.
This is life in 2020, and it is only going to get worse.