A Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta has been set alight amid protests over the death of Rayshard Brooks, while the city’s police chief has announced her resignation.
Police say Brooks grabbed an officer’s taser and pointed it as he ran away, before cops opened fire and killed him on Friday.
After 10pm on Saturday, a fully involved fire was seen inside the Wendy’s where the shooting took place, and thick smoke billowed through the air, as multiple smaller fires burned in the parking lot outside of the building.
US security forces street execute 27 year old Rayshard Brook after attempting to arrest him for sleeping in a Wendy's parking lot. Mass protests across Atlanta now. #AtlantaShooting #AtlantaProtest pic.twitter.com/XB0rdX2YIO— Anonymous (@YourAnonCentral) June 14, 2020
The #Atlanta police waited 2 mins. 16 secs. before rendering aid to #RashardBrooks . As you can see, he was still ALIVE! They were busy picking up their shell casings and cleaning up their tracks. #AtlantaShooting— 🔥 A man of the people… 🔥 (@JoeSteelerFan) June 14, 2020
Here comes unbiased analysis.— Malcolm FleX (@Malcolm_fleX48) June 14, 2020
From what I can tell, the cop is in the right on this. First off, the fabricated notion that he was killed while sleeping in his car makes this even more damning.
He appears to fire a cop's tazer as well.#RashardBrooks #AtlantaShooting pic.twitter.com/33FbBkZj1o
The building was engulfed in flames which shot through the air from the roof, and no emergency responders were on the scene after nearly an hour.
Atlanta fire officials said that they were unable to send trucks through the crowds of protesters blocking the roads around the Wendy’s, in fear of endangering both the firefighters and the protesters. As the fire grew, fears mounted that it could ignite a neighboring gas station, but by midnight the fire had burned out without spreading further.
Demonstrators also shut down all lanes of Interstate 75 near the Wendy’s for more than an hour. Police in riot gear were seen advancing on the protesters and making arrests at around 10pm. Traffic was restored on the northbound lanes of the interstate by around 10.30pm.
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned on Saturday following the fatal shooting of Brooks, 27, outside of the Wendy’s drive-thru late on Friday night.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Shield’s resignation, saying the city’s top cop 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 communities.’
Previously released bystander video shows Brooks in a scuffle as officers tried to take him into custody in a parking lot of a Wendy’s on University Avenue at around 10:30pm on Friday.
Fire at Wendy's on University Ave in southwest Atlanta raging. A night to remember in Atlanta: Rayshard Brooks shot by an officer, the chief of Atlanta police resigned, and protesters stormed the interstate. Now, fire. #AtlantaShooting #AtlantaProtest pic.twitter.com/Fgjq7jhDiZ— Ric Garni (@RICGARNI) June 14, 2020
Brooks is seen in the video getting away from the grasp of two police officers and running away from them in the parking lot. He managed to take a Taser from one of the officers before trying to run away.
One of the officers is seen getting up and giving chase with what appears to be a Taser.
Moments later, gunshots are heard, though Brooks or the officers are not seen at that point in the bystander video.
The shooting came at a time of heightened tension over police brutality and calls for reforms across the U.S. following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Atlanta was among U.S. cities where large crowds of protesters took to the streets.
A crowd of demonstrators gathered Saturday outside the Atlanta restaurant where Brooks was shot.
Gerald Griggs, an attorney and a vice president of Atlanta’s NAACP chapter, estimated there were 150 people protesting at the scene as he walked with them Saturday afternoon.
‘The people are upset,’ Griggs said. ‘They want to know why their dear brother Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed when he was merely asleep on the passenger side and not doing anything.’
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