US police chief resigns and officer fired following fatal shooting of black man in Atlanta

US police chief resigns and officer fired following fatal shooting of black man in Atlanta

ATLANTA’S chief of police has resigned following the fatal shooting of an African-American man outside a fast-food restaurant in the US. 

Rayshard Brooks, 27, died in hospital on Friday night after he was shot by officers following a scuffle outside a branch of Wendy's in Georgia. 

Mr. Brooks had allegedly failed a sobriety test and was said to be resisting arrest after falling asleep in his car in the drive-thru lane of the restaurant. 

According to video footage filmed by an eyewitness, the father-of-three can be seen struggling with two police officers on the ground outside the branch of Wendy’s. 

He grabs one of the officer’s Tasers before breaking free and running away. 

The other officer manages to Taser Mr. Brooks before both run out of frame.  

Seconds later, gunshots can be heard before the camera shows the 27-year-old lying motionless on the ground. 

Police bodycam footage from the incident has been released online:

Though he taken to a nearby hospital, Mr. Brooks later died. 

One of the two officers involved was also treated for an injury. 

Following the incident, protestors took to the streets of Atlanta, demanding justice for Mr. Brooks. 

Demonstrators closed down a major highway, Interstate-75, on Saturday evening as part of the protest while the Wendy’s restaurant where the incident took place was set on fire. 

The circumstances around the shooting has prompted police chief Erika Shields handed in her resignation.

Shields has been police chief since December 2016 and has enjoyed a 20-year career in the force.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms confirmed the decision in a statement: 

"Because of her desire that Atlanta be a model of what meaningful reform should look like across this country, Chief Shields has offered to immediately step aside as police chief so that the city may move forward with urgency and rebuilding the trust so desperately needed throughout our communities.” 

One of the police officers involved, Garrett Rolfe, has also been dismissed while the other, Devin Bronsan has been placed on administrative duty. 

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) is investigating the circumstances around Mr. Brooks’ death while the Fulton County District Attorney's Office is conducting a separate investigation. 

Chris Stewart, a lawyer representing the family of Mr. Brooks, has condemned the use of deadly force. 

"You can't shoot somebody unless they are pointing a gun at you," he said. 

According to the attorney, Mr. Brooks had been due to take his eight-year-old daughter skating this weekend to celebrate her birthday. 

The incident is the 48th officer-involved shooting the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has investigated this year, ABC News reports, with 15 of those ending up fatal. 

It also comes amid ongoing unrest following the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.