- Protesters in Atlanta set fire to the Wendy’s where police fatally shot Rayshard Brooks on Friday.
- They also shut down a highway earlier in the night. The unrest followed weeks of anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests.
- The fatal shooting occurred after police received a complaint that Brooks was asleep in his car at the drive-thru, according to the George Bureau of Investigation.
- Brooks struggled with two officers and grabbed one of their Tasers, then ran away and pointed the Taser at an officer before he was shot.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Outraged protesters in Atlanta set fire to the Wendy’s where police fatally shot 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks one night earlier.
Activists also shut down traffic on a nearby highway in response to the fatal police shooting, and police used tear gas and a flash bang to disperse the crowd, CNN reported.
The unrest on Saturday night came on top of existing tension between police and the Black community in Atlanta. Protests have raged throughout the city — and across the country — for weeks in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
Less than 24 hours after Brooks’ death, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a press conference earlier on Saturday she did not believe Brooks’ killing was justified. She called for the officer involved to be fired.
The officer had opened fire on Brooks after a struggle in which Brooks grabbed an officer’s Taser. Brooks had been running away when the officer began shooting, but he had pointed the Taser at the officer behind him, according to surveillance footage. It’s unclear if Brooks fired the Taser or merely pointed it.
The deadly encounter began after police received a complaint that Brooks was asleep in his car at the drive-thru, according to the George Bureau of Investigation.
The GBI said officers initially conducted a field sobriety test, and tried to arrest Brooks after he failed the test.
But lawyers representing Brooks’ family said the GBI’s account was false. One of the attorneys, L. Chris Stewart, said witnesses had told him that officers had not conducted a field sobriety test — instead, they appeared to be having a civil conversation with Brooks before they suddenly tried to arrest him.
Stewart also said Brooks had not been blocking the drive-thru line when he was asleep in his car.
Stewart said officers should merely have had a conversation with Brooks if they suspected he had been drinking, and avoided escalating the situation.
“Why was he even under arrest? You want to know how this could have been avoided?” Stewart said. “Talk to him. ‘Hey, buddy, you fell asleep in line, you okay? Why don’t you pull your car over there and call an Uber.’ And then you walk over and then you leave. Why is that so hard for police officers.”
Stewart continued: “He wasn’t doing anything crazy or violent or harming anyone.”