Rayshard Brooks, 27, was fatally shot by police Friday

By Ally Mauch
June 13, 2020 04:17 PM
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Crime scene
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An Atlanta police officer shot and killed a Black man at a Wendy’s restaurant on Friday night after receiving a complaint about a car parked in the drive-thru, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

The man has now been identified as 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks.

Atlanta police responded to the complaint that a man — Brooks — was asleep parked in the drive-thru. Officers conducted a field sobriety test, which Brooks failed.

Brooks resisted arrest and the officer deployed a Taser and a struggle ensued, said the statement from the GBI, which is investigating the incident. During the struggle over the Taser, Brooks was shot and later died at the hospital following surgery.

There were witnesses at the Wendy’s in southeast Atlanta who have provided video footage to investigators, the GBI shared on Twitter.

Brooks’ killing comes as protests against police brutality and racial injustice continue to rage across the world. The protests began following the murder of George Floyd, a Black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police in May.

Decatur Redd, who said he is a relative of Brooks, spoke with reporters and a crowd of people following the Friday incident.

"I don't know how to do this because I never knew that I was going to have to do this," Redd said, according to CNN. "I've watched this on the internet, from the whole George Floyd situation to us coming together like we're doing and this whole thing landed on my doorstep with my little cousin."

RELATED VIDEO: Voices from Protests After George Floyd's Death: 'Our Skin Color Should Not Be Considered a Weapon'

"I thought Atlanta was higher than that. I thought Atlanta was bigger than that," Redd said. "We've been watching this happen for so many years, with young black boys around the country just dying in vain. I just don't want that to continue and keep happening like that."

The Georgia chapter of the NAACP said Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields should be fired and condemned Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for her silence.

“At this present moment, we have not heard from the mayor herself or the police chief, and the silence is deafening,” President Rev. James Woodall said in a media call, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "The City of Atlanta must not only address this with their words, but also their actions."

Georgia state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams also spoke out, sharing a message on Twitter.

"The killing of #RayshardBrooks in Atlanta last night demands we severely restrict the use of deadly force. Yes, investigations must be called for -- but so too should accountability," the former gubernatorial candidate wrote. "Sleeping in a drive-thru must not end in death."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.

• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.