Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields stepped down on Saturday after an officer fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, an African American, on Friday night in the United States city in Georgia State.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Shields’ decision in a press conference, while calling for the “immediate termination” of the officer who shot Brooks.
“Chief Shields has offered to immediately step aside as police chief so that the city may move forward with urgency in rebuilding the trust so desperately needed throughout our communities,” Bottoms said.
Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old African American man, was shot dead after local police were dispatched to respond to complaints that he was asleep in the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant.
Police said they tried to take Brooks into custody after he failed a sobriety test, which led to a struggle between Brooks and the other officers. Police claimed that Brooks, while allegedly resisting, grabbed an officer’s Taser and ran off with it.
Footage capturing the scene from the restaurant’s parking lot showed that Brooks turned around and appeared to point the stun gun at the police officers before being shot.
An ambulance transferred Brooks to a local hospital, where he died after undergoing surgery later.
Bottoms, the mayor, told reporters at the press conference that she did not “believe that this was a justified use of deadly force.”
A group of protesters marched onto a highway in Atlanta late Saturday night over the deadly police shooting.
According to live images on local media outlets, the protesters held a line on the Interstate 85 and Interstate 75 connector, blocking multiple vehicles, including police cars.
The incident came shortly after the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, in police custody, which has sparked massive protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and across the rest of the nation.