The Atlanta police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks Friday night in a Wendy’s parking lot has been fired as protests and backlash swept through the area.
Garrett Rolfe, who had been on the force since 2013, was fired and his partner, Devin Bronsan, was put on administrative duty early Sunday, hours after police chief Erika Shields resigned.
Brooks, 27, was killed Friday night during a struggle with Rolfe and Bronsan, who were dispatched to the Wendy’s after a customer reported that a man was sleeping in his car in the drive-thru.
After Brooks failed a field sobriety test, the officers attempted to place him in custody, but he resisted arrest.
“[V]ideos indicate that during a physical struggle with officers, Brooks obtained one of the officer’s Tasers and began to flee from the scene,” the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.
“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.”
Body cam video of the fatal arrest released late Saturday shows Brooks being pursued on foot by an officer, then turning around and seeming to aim something at him before he falls to the ground.
Brooks was taken to the hospital, where he later died, according to the GBI.
Before taking a preliminary breath test, Brooks told officers that he had one and a half margaritas that night.
As the officers attempted to handcuff Brooks, he appears to struggle and one of the officers tells him to “stop fighting.”
“This situation is tragically classic,” said Cornell William Brooks, the former president of the NAACP, told CNN Saturday. “This video, this police homicide occurs in the wake of Ahmaud Arbery, occurs in the wake of Philando Castile, George Floyd, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor and so many others.”
Brooks’ death stirred mass protests in Atlanta Saturday as people marched down University Ave. The Wendy’s where Brooks was killed was set ablaze during the night.
At least 36 people were arrested during the protests, according to police.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the resignation of the police chief during a press conference Saturday.
“While there may be debate as to whether this was an appropriate use of deadly force, I firmly believe that there is a clear distinction between what you can do and what you should do,” she said. “I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force.”
L. Chris Stewart, an attorney for Brooks’ family, called for Rolfe to be charged.
“You can’t have it both ways in law enforcement,” Stewart told the Associated Press. “You can’t say a Taser is a nonlethal weapon but when an African American grabs it and runs with it, now it’s some kind of deadly, lethal weapon that calls for you to unload on somebody.”
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