Man dies after being shot by Atlanta police, GBI investigating

Davies

An Atlanta man died after reportedly being shot by an Atlanta police officer at a fast-food restaurant late Friday night, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Officials have identified the man as 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks.

At 10:33 p.m. local time, officers responded to a Wendy’s restaurant on University Avenue after receiving a complaint that Brooks was asleep in a parked car in the drive-thru, authorities said. After failing a field sobriety test, officers said they attempted to place him into custody. It was at that point, according to GBI, that Brooks resisted and a struggle ensued.

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 this video will be released to the public.

An earlier account of the incident was based on the officer’s bodycam, which was knocked off during the physical struggle, preventing the capture of the entire shooting incident, GBI said.

Brooks was taken to a local hospital, where he died after emergency surgery.

One officer was treated for an injury sustained during the encounter but has already been released from the hospital, according to GBI.

Once the GBI concludes its investigation, the case will be turned over to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office, which intends to conduct its own probe.

District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. is asking anyone who witnessed, photographed or took any videos of the incident to call their office’s tip hotline 404-612-4903.

This is the 48th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been requested to investigate this year. Those 48 cases include the fatal shootings of 15 people.

Friday night’s deadly encounter with police led to large groups gathering at the scene, according videos posted to social media.

Reynolds has asked agents to expedite the investigation “due to the nature of the case in the current environment we’re living in today.”

Atlanta, along with cities across the U.S. and the world, has been the site of massive protests following the death of George Floyd while in police custody on Memorial Day.

Floyd was killed after an officer pressed his knee against his neck for nearly nine minutes. During the gruesome video, Floyd can be heard saying, “I can’t breathe.”

That video and Floyd’s death sparked widespread protests again racism and police brutality throughout the U.S. Major demonstrations, including protesters taking over a precinct in Seattle, are continuing this weekend as many are calling for significant police reforms.

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