Atlanta police chief Erika Shields has stepped down after newly released surveillance footage showing the details of the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks failed to quell public outrage over ‘unjustified’ use of lethal force.
“I do not believe this was a justified use of deadly force and have called for the immediate termination of the officer,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a Saturday afternoon press conference, accepting Shields’ resignation.
Meanwhile, newly-release surveillance footage of the incident appears to back claims by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that Brooks grabbed a taser from an officer and aimed it back at police chasing him, at which point he was shot.
“These new videos indicate that during a physical struggle with officers, Brooks obtained one of the officer’s Tasers and began to flee from the scene,” the GBI said.
Officers pursued Brooks on foot and during the chase, Brooks turned and pointed the Taser at the officer. The officer fired his weapon, striking Brooks.
Also Video of unarmed black man shot by Atlanta police sparks massive outrage amidst George Floyd protests
The incident took place Friday night, when Atlanta officers responded to a call of a suspicious person that led them to a Wendy’s drive-thru where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was allegedly asleep in his car. Brooks apparently failed a field sobriety test, and actively resisted when police tried to place him in custody, according to another video of the struggle circulating online.
The fatal police-involved shooting triggered a new wave of protests in Atlanta, with activists accusing officers of racism and extrajudicial execution of yet another ‘unarmed black man’ in the wake of ongoing nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.
Since Floyd’s killing in a botched chokehold arrest attempt in May in Minneapolis, protests over police brutality and racial inequality have swept across all major US cities and around the world.