Atlanta police shot and killed a man Friday night after attempting to arrest him (Update: Police Chief resigns)

Last night 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police in Atlanta after resisting arrest and wrestling with two officers. It happened in the parking lot of a Wendy’s fast food restaurant. Officers were initially called because Brooks had fallen asleep in his car in or near the drive-thru line.


Officers received a complaint about a man sleeping in a car in the drive-thru and cars having to drive around him…

Officers performed a field sobriety test on the man. The [Georgis Bureau of Investigations] says he failed the test and officers started to place him into custody.

He resisted and a struggle happened over a Taser, according to witness reports.

“During the arrest, the male subject resisted and a struggle ensued. The officer deployed a Taser. Witnesses report that during the struggle the male subject grabbed and was in possession of the Taser,” the GBI said. “It has also been reported that the male subject was shot by an officer in the struggle over the Taser.”

Because this happened in a public spot where other people were waiting to get food, most of the incident was captured on cell phone video. You won’t see the actual shooting in any of these clips but you will hear it (along with some NSFW commentary).

This is going to be dissected like the Zapruder film but here’s my first impression. You can see one officer attempting to subdue Brooks using a taser. Brooks takes the taser with his left hand, throws off one officer and manages to get up and run. Another officer fires his taser and as Brooks runs the officer follows him. You can see the taser leads and hear it discharging as they pass the camera. Then the second officer runs past the camera and someone fires three shots. When the camera turns back we see that Brooks is down and not moving.


Given that Brooks was caught drunk driving, the arrest seems appropriate. We don’t see what set off the altercation but the officers clearly made multiple attempts to use tasers rather than bullets. Brooks is fighting and throwing punches so there’s no doubt the resisting arrest in this case was real rather than imagined. What’s not clear is what justified the use of deadly force. Brooks did take the officer’s taser but from what we see he was running away, not attempting to use the taser on them or anyone else. We can’t actually see (in the video above) what happened in the final seconds before the shots were fired. Was Brooks shot in the back or had he turned around?

What we do know is the immediate reaction from people at the scene: “It happened again, bruh.”

Here’s video from another witness (you can actually hear him briefly in the clip above) who claims cops were interacting calmly with Brooks for 20 minutes before the altercation started. [Lots of NSFW language.]

Here’s another clip of the immediate aftermath:


George Floyd’s funeral was four days ago and the officers involved have been arrested and charged. It seemed the violent protests, at least the worst of it, was behind us. Now we have this new case, also caught on video, and this morning there is a protest at the scene with people blocking traffic in front of the Wendys. The leader of the protest is saying, “This is the new ground zero.”

There is already some disagreement between officials about what is seen in the video. Atlanta City Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd says the shooting was not justified. A spokesman for the Atlanta PD says he’s not sure.


Finally, as I write this, demonstrators have gathered outside police headquarters. It’s peaceful at the moment and I hope it stays that way, but as we’ve seen many times now, there is often a change in the tone of the protests at night.

Update: Atlanta police chief Erica Shields has resigned. In addition the mayor has asked that the two officers involved be fired. The mayor reviewed body camera footage which showed Brooks did turn and try to fire the taser before he was shot. You can watch it for yourself in the clip below, starting at 5:00. He definitely turned and aimed. In fact it’s possible he actually hit the officer with the taser as the office chasing seems to stumble into a parked car.

But Mayor Bottoms said, “there is a clear distinction between what you can do and what you should do.” In other words, even if the officers were justified in using deadly force by the book, she believes this was not a justified shooting under the circumstances.

Update: Protester organizers have reportedly sent white people onto interstate 85 to block it off.

The Wendy’s where Brooks was shot has been vandalized.


Update: The Wendy’s is torched.

Here’s the video as someone broke CNN’s camera.

The justification I’m seeing online for this is that an employee called police.


The officer involved in the shooting has been fired:

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