Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields stepped down on Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the fatal police shooting of a Black man outside a Wendy’s.The shooting occurred after police were called to a Wendy’s drive-thru, where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks had fallen asleep and blocked the lane.Videos showed a struggle between Brooks and police officers after a field sobriety test, and Brooks could be seen grabbing one of the Tasers, then attempting to run away and pointing it back at the the officers before he was shot.The shooting came amid weeks of anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Atlanta’s police chief resigned Saturday, less than 24 hours after a Black man was killed by an Atlanta officer in a struggle following a field sobriety test.Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced during a news conference that she had accepted the resignation of Police Chief Erika Shields.Police were called to the restaurant on a complaint that a man was sleeping in a car blocking the drive-thru lane as customers waited in line, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said. The agency identified the man who was fatally shot as 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks.The shooting was captured on video by security cameras and witnesses’ cellphones. Footage showed Brooks struggling with police officers over a Taser after the sobriety test, then pointing the Taser at the officers while running away. That’s when one officer drew his gun and opened fire.
The shooting came amid weeks of anti-racism protests and civil unrest in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.Shields made headlines amid the protests after she was seen in videos speaking directly with activists and telling protesters she understood their concerns and wanted to listen.”You have a right to be upset to be scared, and to want to yell,” Shields said. Shields also fired two officers over using excessive force to arrest two college students leaving a protest. Videos showed six officers pulling the students out of their car and tasing them.
All six officers face criminal charges, but Shields suggested the charges went too far and were politically motivated.”The officers were fired because I felt that is what had to occur,” she said. “This does not mean for a moment that I will sit quietly by and watch our employees get swept up in the tsunami of political jockeying during an election year.”