Atlanta Police Chief Resigns After Deadly Police Shooting of Black Man Resisting Arrest at Wendy’s Drive-Thru

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms announced the resignation of police Chief Erika Shields Saturday afternoon after the deadly police shooting of Rayshard Brooks, 27, as he resisted arrest Friday night. Shields was appointed chief in December 2016 by then Mayor Kasim Reed after serving 21 years on the force. Shields was the first openly gay Atlanta police chief.

Police were called to a Wendy’s where they reportedly found Brooks passed out in his car in the drive-thru lane. Brooks allegedly failed a sobriety test and was seen on video resisting arrest by two officers who wrestled with him and lost control.

Brooks stole a Taser off one officer, was shot with another Taser as he fled but was fatally shot when he pointed the stolen Taser at a pursuing officer. Much of the incident was caught on video.

Longer video released by GBI:

Viral video shows Brooks wrestling Taser away and fleeing from officers, shooting heard off camera:

Excerpt from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

…Bottoms said Shields made the decision to resign her top post, which the mayor accepted. The city will launch a national search for her replacement.

“Chief Erika Shields has been a solid member of APD for over two decades and has a deep and abiding love for the people of Atlanta. And because of her desire that Atlanta be a model of what meaningful reform should look like across this country, Chief Shields has offered to immediately step aside as police chief so that the city may move forward with urgency in rebuilding the trust so desperately needed throughout our community,” Bottoms said.

Assistant police Chief Rodney Bryant will serve as the interim chief. Bottoms said Shields “will continue in a role, to be determined.”

Bottoms also called for the termination of the police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks on Friday. Brooks took a Taser from an arresting officer, officials said. As Brooks ran away, Bottoms said he turned over his shoulder and appeared to fire the Taser at one of the officers. The officer shot Brooks…

GBI press release on the police shooting of Brooks:

Update #2 (June 13, 2020)

The GBI has obtained additional surveillance video from the Wendy’s restaurant. Agents have also reviewed video posted on social media. 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. 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.

A copy of this video will be released to the public.

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

The GBI is continuing to conduct an independent investigation. We are encouraging any witnesses to contact 1.800.597.TIPS (8477).

Update #1 (June 13, 2020)

The deceased subject has been identified as Rayshard Brooks, age 27, of Atlanta, GA.

Atlanta, GA (June 13, 2020) – On Friday, June 12, 2020, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Atlanta Police Department (APD) to investigate an officer involved shooting.

Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 10:33 pm, APD was dispatched to the Wendy’s located at 125 University Ave, Atlanta, GA. Officers were responding to a complaint of a male in a vehicle parked in the drive thru asleep, causing other customers to drive around the vehicle. A field sobriety test was performed on the male subject. After failing the test, the officers attempted to place the male subject into custody. During the arrest, the male subject resisted and a struggle ensued. The officer deployed a Taser. Witnesses report that during the struggle the male subject grabbed and was in possession of the Taser. It has also been reported that the male subject was shot by an officer in the struggle over the Taser.

The male subject was transported to a local hospital where he died after surgery.

One officer was treated for an injury sustained during the incident and was subsequently discharged from the hospital.

The GBI is working to identify the next of kin.

The GBI will continue its independent investigation. Once completed, the case will be turned over to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office for review.

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