More news surrounding the shooting of an unarmed black man at an Atlanta area Wendy’s at the hands of the police has come to light.
An Atlanta police officer has been fired after fatally shooting Rayshard Brooks outside a Wendy’s on Friday, as he ran away while holding a Taser, a police spokesperson told Insider.
The spokesperson identified the officer as Garrett Rolfe, who has worked at the Atlanta Police Department since 2013. A second officer involved in the incident was placed on administrative leave and was identified as Devin Bronsan, who was hired in 2018.
Earlier on Saturday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms had called for the officer to be fired and said she didn’t believe the shooting was justified. Police Chief Erika Shields resigned less than 24 hours after Brooks’ death.
Rolfe opened fire on Brooks while he was running away and pointing a Taser after a scuffle with Rolfe and Bronsan.
The fatal shooting set off a new wave of protests in Atlanta, which had already seen weeks of anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
turday, protesters set fire to the Wendy’s where Brooks was shot, and shut down traffic lanes on a nearby highway. Police also responded with force to disperse crowds, using tear gas and a flash bang.
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 that Brooks resisted arrest 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.” [The Insider]