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Thousands of protesters gather in Atlanta after US cop shoots black man while trying to arrest him

The massive protests comes as the US faces a historic reckoning on systemic racism, with mass civil unrest ignited by the May 25 killing of another African American man, George Floyd, while in police custody.

SNS Web | New Delhi |

The police chief in the US city of Atlanta resigned after an officer fatally shot a black man during an arrest, according to the mayor on Saturday.

Protesters blocked an interstate highway and set alight the Wendy’s where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was killed late Saturday, local media reported.

This came hours after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms — who has been touted as a potential running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden — announced the resignation of Chief Erika Shields.

Brooks had been asleep in his car at a Wendy’s fast food restaurant drive-through late Friday, and employees called police to complain he was blocking other customers, an official report said.

Brooks was taken to a hospital but died after surgery, it said, adding that one officer was injured.

The massive protests comes as the US faces a historic reckoning on systemic racism, with mass civil unrest ignited by the May 25 killing of another African American man, George Floyd, while in police custody.

Floyd died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Protests which spread first around the country then the globe in the weeks since, have forced a conversation on the legacies of slavery, colonialism and white violence against people of color, as well as the militarization of police in America.

Floyd’s death came during the spread of a disease that has disproportionately affected black people and ethnic minorities in global centres such as London and New York.

It also came in the throes of a historic economic downturn that has statistically affected the poor and marginalised the most.

Last week, tens of thousands gathered in Washington, where Mayor Muriel Bowse renamed the area outside the White House “Black Lives Matter Plaza”.

A video taken by a bystander shows officer officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck as he is pinned to the ground. Floyd who was unarmed and handcuffed, pleaded that he could not breathe. He was soon after declared dead at a nearby hospital.

Police and protesters clashed in numerous cities including Chicago and New York, with officers responding to projectiles with pepper spray while shop windows were smashed in Philadelphia.

Floyd’s killing was seen as the latest example of police brutality against African Americans, which gave rise six years ago to the Black Lives Matter movement.