The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the shooting of Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man fatally shot outside an Atlanta Wendy's restaurant Friday night. Police were called to the scene after receiving a report of a man sleeping in his car parked in the drive-thru lane. Video of the shooting began circulating around social media Friday night, adding more outrage to protests of police brutality in Atlanta this weekend.
The incident began at around 10:30 p.m. ET when Atlanta Police Officers were dispatched to the Wendy's at 125 University Ave. There were complaints that a man was sleeping in a vehicle parked at the drive-thru, and other drivers had to drive around his vehicle. Police had the man take a sobriety test, which he failed, according to police. When trying to arrest him, there was a struggle and one officer used a taser. Witnesses said the suspect grabbed the taser, causing a struggle with officers. During the confrontation, one officer shot the suspect, the GBI said.
The male suspect, identified as Brooks, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries after surgery. One officer was treated for an injury, but has since been released. The GBI said it is handling an independent investigation, and the findings will be turned over to the Fulton County District Attorney's Office.
After a video of the shooting surfaced, the GBI said it was aware of the clip filmed by a witness. "We are reviewing the video & the early investigative information in this case. We’ll provide an update as soon as we can," the bureau said. This is the 48th police-involved shooting the GBI is investigating this year, reports WSB-TV.
District Attorney Paul Howard is also launching an independent investigation and has called on the public for any further information. "Lastly, our thoughts and our sympathies are extended to the family of Rayshard Brooks as we must not forget that this investigation is centered upon a loss of life," Howard's office said. "The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office is working diligently to gather all of the necessary information to proceed with this investigation."
The killing of #RayshardBrooks in Atlanta last night demands we severely restrict the use of deadly force. Yes, investigations must be called for - but so too should accountability.
Sleeping in a drive-thru must not end in death. https://t.co/LKsiwA48Ll— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) June 13, 2020
The shooting comes amid the protests of police brutality and racial inequality after George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. Georgia officials were also criticized for the handling of Ahmaud Arbery's death. Arbery was killed in February, but it took over two months for three white men to face charges. Atlanta has been the site for protests in recent weeks, and some have turned violent. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms fired two Atlanta officers accused of using excessive force during one protest, and Howard charged four others with excessive force as well.
"I've watched this on the internet, from the whole George Floyd situation to us coming together like we're doing and this whole thing landed on my doorstep with my little cousin," Decatur Redd, who is related to Howard, told the media Saturday, reports CNN. "I thought Atlanta was higher than that. I thought Atlanta was bigger than that." She later added, "We've been watching this happen for so many years, with young black boys around the country just dying in vain. I just don't want that to continue and keep happening like that."