Atlanta, GA – Rioters set fire to bushes, cars, and a Wendy’s restaurant Saturday night to protest the fatal officer-involved shooting of Rayshard Brooks.
Police formed a line to try to keep the rioters off if I-75/85, but they continued to set fires in the area.
The rioters set off fireworks inside of the Wendy’s restaurant on University Ave near I-75/85 at around 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
Footage from the scene shows that the building is on fire.
The rioting comes after surveillance footage was released which shows Brooks shot a Taser at an officer before the officer responded with bullets.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the existence of the footage Saturday when she described how Brooks actually fired the Taser at the officer (video below).
She then called for the officer’s immediate termination.
The incident started when police received a call at around 10:33 p.m. Friday for a man asleep in his car blocking the Wendy’s drive-thru off University Ave near I-75/85, according to WXIA.
Officers arrived and contacted the suspect, later identified at 27-year old Rayshard Brooks, and administered field sobriety tests.
After officers developed probable cause that Brooks was under the influence, they attempted to arrest him.
During his arrest, Brooks fought two officers in a full-on brawl, partially captured on video (video below).
Brooks was successfully able to fight off the two officers while disarming one officer of his Taser.
Once Brooks was able to break free of the officers, he took off running with the Taser in his hand.
One of the officers chased close behind, attempting to tase Brooks.
Both officers then chased Brooks off-camera when gunshots rang out.
Mayor Bottoms said that there is video that shows that Brooks turned over his shoulder and fired the taser at one of the officers.
That’s when the officer shot Brooks with his service weapon.
Brooks was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he died after surgery, according to WXIA.
“While there may be debate as to whether this was an appropriate use of deadly force, I firmly believe that there is a clear distinction between what you can do, and what you should do,” Mayor Bottoms said.
“I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force, and have called for the immediate termination of the officer,” the mayor continued.
It’s not clear if the officer actually violated any policy.
“What has become abundantly clear over the last couple of weeks in Atlanta, is that while we have a police force full of men and women who work alongside our communities with honor, respect, and dignity, there has been a disconnect with what our expectations are and should be as it relates to interactions with our officers and the communities in which they are entrusted to protect,” Mayor Bottoms said.
The mayor then announced that because Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields wants Atlanta to be a model of reform, Chief Shields has resigned from her position.
Deputy Rodney Bryant will serve as the interm chief.
The shakeup comes as protests started almost immediately following the shooting.
Shortly after the shooting, protesters quickly gathered at the Wendy’s, according to WAGA.
Atlanta’s NAACP vice president, Gerald Griggs, said there were at least 150 protesting at the shooting scene Saturday.
Griggs made the claim that Brooks was just sleeping in the passenger side of the car which was blocking the Wendy’s drive-thru.
“The people are upset,” Griggs said, according to WAGA. “They want to know why their dear brother Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed when he was merely asleep on the passenger side and not doing anything.”
You can see the surveillance video below. Warning – Graphic Content:
You can see the video of the fight with officers below. Warning – Graphic Content: