The Friday night police shooting of Rayshard Brooks in the parking lot of a Wendy's in Atlanta has been deemed a homicide, according to the local medical examiner.
Brooks, 27, had fallen asleep in his car at the fast food restaurant's drive-thru. When police arrived, Brooks answered officers' questions and took a field sobriety test. The officers also determined he was not armed. The NY Times reports, after about 27 minutes, an officer, Garrett Rolfe, "tells Mr. Brooks he 'has had too much drink to be driving,' and begins to handcuff him. Less than a minute later, Mr. Brooks is shot." According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Brooks had apparently struggled with police, taking their Taser, and allegedly aimed the stun gun at them while fleeing.
Brooks was fatally shot twice in the back by Officer Rolfe. After his death, the Atlanta chief of police, Erika Shields, resigned, saying in a statement, "it is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve." Rolfe was fired from the police department.
L. Chris Stewart, an attorney representing Brooks's family, told the Today Show, "That man’s life should not have been taken so callously simply for running away with a nonlethal weapon." Stewart demanded that Rolfe be arrested, "Justice won’t ever bring him back depending on what you want to define it as, but what we want is for him to be arrested and what we want is for better understanding of community based policing in this country."
Here's a running list of protests planned for Monday, June 15th:
McCarren Park (Vigil, then march) 7 p.m.
McCarren Park (March) 8 p.m.; meet at 7:30 p.m.
Maria Hernandez Park (Vigil) 8 p.m.
Washington Square Park (Protest) 4 p.m.
Carl Schurz Park (Vigil) 7 p.m.
185-06 Union Turnpike (Protest) 1 p.m.
(Protest schedule via @justiceforgeorgenyc)