Amid global outrage over the death of George Floyd, an African American, in police custody, in United States yet another black man was fatally shot by a police officer during an arrest. The police chief of Atlanta city resigned over the matter, said the city mayor on Saturday. The new killing intensified protests against racism and police brutality.
According to media reports, on Saturday demonstrators blocked an interstate highway and set alight the Wendy’s restaurant where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was killed.
27-year-old Rayshard Brooks, was killed on Friday night. He had been asleep in his car at the fast-food restaurant’s drive-through and the employees called police to complain he was blocking other customers, an official report said.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said, he failed a sobriety test and resisted when police tried to arrest him, while the surveillance video showed “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,” it stated.
Brooks was taken to a hospital but died after surgery, said the official report while adding that one officer was injured as well.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the resignation of Police chief Erika Shields. He has been publicised as a potential running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, announced the resignation of Police chief Erika Shields.
Police chief Shields had worked for Atlanta’s police department for more than two decades.
“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,” the mayor said on TV.
The unrest 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, an unarmed 46-year-old man, died in Minneapolis on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, held him down with a knee on his neck although he repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe”, and “please, I can’t breathe”.
All four police officers involved in the incident have been fired, and Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Last week, US president Donald Trump deployed thousands of “heavily armed” soldiers and police to prevent further protests in Washington, where buildings and monuments have been vandalized near the White House during the protests.
George Floyd’s death saw tens of thousands of outraged protesters from Sydney to London rallying against racism and police brutality.