A 27-year-old Black man was fatally shot by Atlanta police in a Wendy’s drive-thru on Friday night around 10:30 p.m.
Someone had called the police to complain about the man, Rayshard Brooks, who had fallen asleep in his car at the drive-thru and was blocking cars in line, TMZ reports. Customers could still go around him to get their food at the pick-up window.
The police report said two officers attempted to arrest Brooks after he was given a field sobriety test and didn’t pass. In footage from the incident, cops tried to restrain Brooks on the ground for almost 30 seconds.
“After failing the test, the officers attempted to place the male subject into custody,” Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles said, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “During the arrest, the male subject resisted and a struggle ensued. The officer deployed a Taser.”
The police allege that Brooks took a Taser from one of the officers when he stood up. Another cop tried to use his taser, but then Brooks started running. The police chased him from behind, ultimately shooting three rounds into Brooks’ back. He was taken to the hospital and died during surgery.
The GBI says that one of the officers had minor injuries and was later released from the hospital. While the incident was captured on a cellphone, further details regarding the shooting are unclear. This incident is reportedly the 48th officer-involved shooting that the GBI has investigated in 2020.
In the immediate aftermath, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms annnounced Saturday that police chief Erika Shields has agreed to step aside "so that the city may move forward with urgency in rebuilding the trust so desperately needed throughout our community."
Mayor Bottoms says the city's interim police chief will be Rodney Bryant as they launch a "national search" for new leadership. Chief Shields will remain with the city in an undetermined role.