Tensions are running high in the US, and footage of Atlanta police officers shooting a black man after an altercation in a Wendy’s drive-through Friday evening has sparked a new round of protests that almost immediately turned violent.
Fox News reports:
Television images showed the [Wendy’s] on fire around 9:30 p.m. ET as rioters filled the parking lot where Brooks was shot by police as he fled after allegedly grabbing a stun gun away from an officer during a struggle.
Early Sunday, around 4 a.m. ET, the Wendy’s was seen burning again, Atlanta’s WGCL-TV reported.
Smaller fires were also seen in the area Saturday night.
Nearby, protesters gathered along University Avenue, with Atlanta police blocking access ramps to Interstate 85, apparently to keep the protesters off the roadway, FOX 5 of Atlanta reported.
Police officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Bronsan responded to a complaint that 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks had fallen asleep at the wheel in Wendy’s drive-through Friday evening. Officers conducted field sobriety tests and determined that Brooks was not fit to drive.
After attempting to arrest and handcuff Brooks, video recordings show that he resisted arrest. Brooks gained control of a taser that had been deployed in the struggle, breaking free from the officers and running away with the taser in hand.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation report, Brooks “turned and pointed the taser at the officer. The officer fired his weapon, striking Brooks.” Brooks was taken to the hospital but died after surgical attempts to save his life.
The Atlanta police department issued a statement confirming that the officer that had shot Brooks had been terminated and his partner had been placed on administrative leave following the incident.
Atlanta police chief Erika Shields resigned on Saturday following the public outcry, stating:
For more than two decades, I have served alongside some of the finest women and men in the Atlanta Police Department. Out of a deep and abiding love for this City and this department, I offered to step aside as police chief. APD has my full support, and Mayor Bottoms has my support on the future direction of this department. I have faith in the Mayor, and it is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
This is a developing story.