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Multiple Wendy’s employees are now unemployed because of a riot that broke out late Saturday after local Atlanta officers killed a man who’d (a) passed out drunk in his car beside the restaurant’s drive-through window, (b) resisted arrest when confronted about driving drunk and (c) then fired a taser at them.
Local authorities were called to the Wendy’s late Friday after receiving complaints from customers about a black man hard asleep at the wheel while parked in the restaurant’s drive-through lane, according to the George Bureau of Investigation.
Upon being questioned, the man identified himself as Rayshard Brooks, 27, and admitted to being drunk but displayed hesitation about taking a sobriety test.
Video footage below from the incident shows him trying to evade potential arrest by trying to convince the officers to let him walk home and forget about everything.
Disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear (*Graphic content warning):
Brooks behaved politely up until he failed a sobriety test and the officer announced that he’d need to be arrested for driving drunk. At that moment, he tried to jet from the scene and a struggle ensued during which Brooks was shot.
“The officer deployed a Taser,” GBI reported in a press release. “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.”
“The male subject was transported to a local hospital where he died after surgery. One officer was treated for an injury sustained during the incident and was subsequently discharged from the hospital.”
The FBI later unveiled new video footage from the scene showing that, at one point during the struggle, Brooks had turned and pointed a taser at the officers pursuing him. It was at that moment that the officers had opened fire.
Because of the racial tension already in the air over black man George Floyd’s recent death by a since-terminated and since-charged former Minneapolis officer, the situation in Atlanta quickly spiraled out of control following Brooks’ death.
First, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms held a press conference Saturday during which she impulsively rushed to judgment and concluded the shooting was unjustified.
“I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force and have called for the immediate termination of the officer [who fired the fatal shot],” she said.
“What has become abundantly clear over the last couple of weeks in Atlanta is that while we have a police force full of men and women who work alongside our communities with honor, respect and dignity, there has been a disconnect with what our expectations are and should be as it relates to interactions with our officers and the communities they are entrusted to protect.”
Second, a Black Lives Matter “peaceful protest” (or riot?) broke out outside the Wendy’s where the shooting had occurred, and the restaurant wound up being gutted by arson.
“Protesters have burned down the Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta where a black man was shot by police as he tried to escape arrest, and blocked a major highway in the city,” The Guardian reported early Sunday morning.
“The unrest broke out after dark in Atlanta on Saturday, where earlier in the day mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she had accepted the prompt resignation of police chief Erika Shields over the death of Brooks.”
The Guardian’s report suggests the riot broke out after Bottoms held her presser.
After burning down the Wendy’s, the rioters reportedly targeted other stores for arson/looting (the same thing happened after Floyd’s death late last month) and eventually walked over to and blocked Interstate 75/85.
See footage from the riots below:
After setting Wendy’s is on fire, the protesters/rioters now set other small fires & looting a gas station.
Fire department is not responding due to unsafe conditions & the crowd is still growing. #AtlantaRiot#LawAndOrderpic.twitter.com/asya112LA1
— ~Marietta✌ (@_MariettaDavis) June 14, 2020
University Ave Wendy have been set on fire in atlanta after police shoot and kill Rayshard Brooks last night #AtlantaShooting #AtlantaPolice #RayshardBrooks #Atlanta #AtlantaRiot #AtlantaProtest #atlantapoliceshooting pic.twitter.com/JlEPhzqm0v
— Kevin Bailey (@Jahiem28) June 14, 2020
— elisabeth (@elisamartilo) June 14, 2020
#BREAKING: Huge fire now in #Atlanta after the killing of Rayshard Brooks!#BlackLivesMatter #blacklifematters #londonprotests #RayshardBrooks #BLACK_LIVES_MATTER #BLM #AtlantaShooting #AtlantaRiot #AtlantaProtest #AtlantaProtests #USAonFire pic.twitter.com/fYH63ol3Lg
— political_chaos🤔 (@fuckin_politics) June 14, 2020
— Emily (@emilyxm1999) June 14, 2020
The video below shows rioters chastising a white woman with a purple skirt for trying to set the Wendy’s on fire.
— Fola 🇳🇬👑✊🏿 (@ImKingFola) June 14, 2020
However, another video shows the same woman watching as several black men break into the restaurant:
— Informer (@Informer001) June 14, 2020
Additional footage from the original police encounter with Brooks shows bystanders harassing the cops after they shot him:
The George Bureau of Investigation’s report on what happened can be read here.
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