Protesters set fire Saturday to the Atlanta Wendy’s where, the night before, a black suspect was shot dead as he fired at two white cops with a stolen police Taser.
Angry crowds protesting the racially charged shooting of Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old father of four from Atlanta, also shut down an interstate highway.
Crowds of several hundred had gathered outside the fast-food restaurant all day Saturday, but began breaking windows of the establishment after sunset, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
A fire started inside at around 9:30 pm., according to the paper.
As smoke billowed from the restaurant, some protest organizers encouraged demonstrators to go home, but police moved in to make arrests, the outlet reported.
Brooks was fatally shot by an Atlanta police officer during a struggle after he failed a sobriety test in the Wendy’s parking lot.
The confrontation was filmed by civillian witnesses and also recorded by surveillance cameras.
Authorities said Brooks had taken an officer’s taser during the scuffle and had attempted to flee — assertions backed by the video footage.
As he ran away, police said Brooks turned back to point the taser at an officer, at which point the cop fatally shot him.
The surveillance footage appears to show the Taser in Brooks’ hand firing on the other cop, who collapses briefly against a car. Three shots then ring out and Brooks collapses to the pavement.
The city’s chief of police, Erika Shields, resigned earlier Saturday.
The cop who opened fire was fired by the Atlanta Police Department Saturday night, a move earlier urged by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
L. Chris Stewart, an attorney for Brooks’ family, said Brooks was a father of four who had been celebrating his daughter’s eighth birthday earlier in the day Friday.
Brooks’ killing adds to the civil unrest over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked massive demonstrations in Atlanta and cities across the world.
Stewart believes the officer who shot him should be charged for “an unjustified use of deadly force, which equals murder.”
“You can’t have it both ways in law enforcement,” Stewart said.
“You can’t say a Taser is a nonlethal weapon … but when an African American grabs it and runs with it, now it’s some kind of deadly, lethal weapon that calls for you to unload on somebody.”
With Post Wires