Atlanta police chief resigns after officer shoots man at Wendy’s

Chief Erika Shields. Photo: Atlanta Police Department

June 13 (UPI) — Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields has resigned following the death of a black man at the hands of an Atlanta police officer Friday.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Shields’ resignation Saturday.

On Friday 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police outside an Atlanta Wendy’s.

Video released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation appears to show Brooks taking a Taser from an officer, running from police and then firing it at them before an officer shot at him.

The officer’s name has not been released to the media, but Bottoms has called for his immediate termination.

“While there may be a debate about whether this was an appropriate use of deadly force, I firmly believe there is a clear distinction between what you can do and what you should do,” Bottoms said Saturday. “I have called for the immediate termination of the officer.”

Shields, who joined the Atlanta Police Department in 1995, had served as chief since late 2016.

“Out of a deep and abiding love for this City and this department, I offered to step aside as police chief. APD has my full support, and Mayor Bottoms has my support on the future direction of this department,” Shields said in a statement released Saturday night.

According to Bottoms, Shields will remain with APD and assistant chief Rodney Bryant will become the interim chief while the city searches for a replacement.

Earlier this month six Atlanta officers were arrested on charges of excessive force against two people protesting police brutality.

Bottoms fired two of the officers and placed the others on desk duty.

Protesters began to gather near the Wendy’s where Brooks died Saturday night, at the same time another set of protesters began to gather for anti-police brutality protests already planned in another part of the city, as American cities were gripped by a third consecutive weekend of demonstrations against excessive force by police.


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