Thousands march in Atlanta for Rayshard Brooks, mayor promises reform

Georgia News

ATLANTA (WSAV) – Thousands of people marched through the streets of downtown Atlanta Monday to demand justice for 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says two white officers on Friday shot and killed Brooks, a black man, outside a Wendy’s parking lot after a brief scuffle when he refused arrest and ran off with a taser.

The Atlanta Police Department says the officer who pulled the trigger is now fired, the other is on administrative leave, and Chief Erika Shields is resigning from her role.

Monday’s protest comes on the three week anniversary of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

“That was senseless at Wendy’s, we don’t need to kill black men,” said Nina, a protester outside of the Georgia State Capitol. “Enough is enough!”

Inside the Capitol, lawmakers met for the first time in three months to finish off the legislative session. There is a push for a hate crime bill in Georgia, one of only four U.S. states without one.

Protesters are also calling for an end to systemic racism and defunding the police department.

“Why are we still coming outside to march about the same issues as 60, 100 years ago?” asked activist Nacoleon Hillsman. “That’s not OK.”

Meanwhile, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Monday she’s signing administrative orders to immediately implement reforms surrounding the police department’s use of force policies.

The mayor said Atlanta doesn’t have another day to waste in making a change, getting visibly upset during a press conference.

“It pissed me off. It makes me sad and I’m frustrated,” Bottoms said of Brooks’ death, “And nothing I can do is going to change what happened on Friday.”

Protesters shared the same emotions.

“We just want to live, we want our sons to live and go to sleep and rest finally at night,” Nina said. “I don’t get rest.”

Autopsy results show Brooks died from two gunshot wounds to the back — the death being ruled a homicide.

The district attorney says the charges for those two police officers could include murder, felony murder or involuntary manslaughter with a decision expected by Wednesday.

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