A black Atlanta man died after he was shot by a white police officer in a fast-food drive-thru late Friday night.
The victim, Rayshard Brooks, 27, was shot during a struggle and died after surgery at a local hospital, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. One officer was treated for an injury and discharged.
Brooks had been asleep in his car in a Wendy’s drive-thru, causing other customers to drive around the car, the Bureau of Investigation said. Police were dispatched to the Wendy’s around 10:30 p.m. and conducted a sobriety test on Brooks, who failed the test, according to the officials.
“During the arrest, the male subject resisted and a struggle ensued,” the Bureau of Investigation said. “The officer deployed a Taser. Witnesses report that during the struggle the male subject grabbed and was in possession of the Taser. It has also been reported that the male subject was shot by an officer in the struggle over the Taser.”
In a video captured by a man from his car, Rayshard is seen struggling on the ground with two police officers over the Taser. As he stood up and started running away, both cops chased him from behind before one of them fired three-times at Rayshard.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation later released a surveillance video which captured the officer who fired three shots to Rayshard’s back until he collapsed to the ground.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, Jr. said in a statement Saturday that his office had already launched an “intense, independent” investigation of the incident, and that members of his office were on the scene shortly after the shooting.
“Our thoughts and our sympathies are extended to the family of Rayshard Brooks as we must not forget that this investigation is centered upon a loss of life,” Howard said.
Angry protesters gathered outside the Wendy’s late Friday night and again on Saturday
In a statement Saturday, the Georgia NAACP called for Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to be held “accountable for the continued threat on innocent Black lives in their community.”
“Atlantans woke up to disturbing videos and reports of Rayshard being killed by the Atlanta Police Department. At this time, we must address the over-saturated police presence in Atlanta’s Black communities. This is not the first time a Black man was killed for sleeping,” the organization said in a statement. “The City of Atlanta must address this not only with their words, but also with their actions and budgetary decisions.”
The latest incident comes amid a series of protests against police brutality and racial discrimination. The mass protests were triggered by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed as a white Minneapolis police officer held his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.