Rayshard Brooks shouldn't be dead 'because he was drunk at a freaking Wendy's': Atlanta protests continue after fatal police shooting
ATLANTA - Outrage over Rayshard Brooks' death continued on a rainy Sunday in the Georgian capital. Protesters returned to the burned-out shell of the fast food restaurant, where he was shot by a police officer who had since been released.
Brooks' death is the youngest of a black police man in a country still affected by the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. Both have sparked nationwide protests against racial inequality and police brutality.
His death was sentenced on Sunday evening by the Fulton County medical examiner's office to murder caused by two gunshot wounds to the back.
"They kill us every day," said Kenyah Farley, who was part of the small group of demonstrators who marched to the Georgia State Capitol, where there is a prominent statue of a Confederate soldier, John Brown Gordon. "Not just on the streets, but also in prisons ... I don't want to see another man dead on the street because he was drunk on a fucking Wendys."
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The 27-year-old Brooks was shot dead by an officer outside a Wendy's late Friday after the police responded to a phone call saying he had fallen asleep in his car in the lane. He failed a sobriety test and the officials tried to handcuff him. The Bodycam video shows Brooks wrestling with two white officers and apparently getting a taser from one of them.
Brooks fled when he was shot, as the video shows.
On Sunday, hundreds of demonstrators joined the dozens who remained in front of the charred restaurant, which was set on fire again by demonstrators late Saturday evening and Sunday.
Protesters line Interstate 85 in Atlanta on Sunday evening near Wendy's restaurant, where Rayshard Brooks was shot by the police.
A handful of people were outside of Wendy's late Sunday and asked the police to block a nearby street.
Some in the small group played music from speakers. Others clung to the flower and soft toy memorial that now lines the front of the gutted restaurant.
Occasionally cars drove up and rolled around the building to follow the thoroughfare Brooks was waiting for when he fell asleep, which triggered the fatal emergency call.
Duke Henry was among the late crowd. He had been there the night before.
"I could have been," he said.
On Sunday, demonstrators marched in Atlanta from the Wendy restaurant on University Ave. for the overpass of Highway I-85. Wendy's restaurant was destroyed by fire on Saturday evening. When the demonstrators attempted to cross the Highway I-85 flyover, the police put them into effect. Protesters marched in response to an incident in which a black man was shot by the police when he tried to escape arrest at Wendy's restaurant on Friday. [ALEX HICKS JR./USA TODAY NETWORK]
Protesters who tried to block the road near Wendy's on Interstate 85 earlier in the day were cleared with pepper spray by the police. When the rain subsided, police prison buses in protective clothing joined under a bridge on the highway.
The protesters sought protection at a nearby gas station and sang "Black Lives Matter!" while under the canopy.
Saidah Kimerman arrived at the remains of Wendy around 6 p.m., along with her 13-year-old daughter Marcroee. She said she wanted her daughter to see what had happened there and to witness the protests firsthand.
"We have been hearing these stories for years and years and years," said the mother. "I really hope these kids see that. I tell them all the time, it will be them who help build a new world. "
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Away from Wendy, hundreds of protesters holding signs, raising their fists, and "No justice, no peace!" marched peacefully to Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta. There was practically no police presence during the march.
Few protesters came to the Capitol, where the state police had blocked a street. No demonstrators came near the police officers.
On Saturday, the Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, said she did not believe the Brooks execution was a "justified use of deadly violence" by the former officer. Erika Shields, head of the Atlanta Police Department, resigned after the shootout.
The department announced on Sunday that Garrett Rolfe, a seven-year-old veteran, had been released. Official Devin Brosnan, who had been on the job for less than two years, was transferred to the administrative service.
The NAACP called for a protest on Monday: the "March to Georgia" is scheduled for 9:00 a.m.
"It is not surprising that a country that is still feeling the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor is sitting here treating another wound that has been inflicted on us by those who have sworn to protect and serve," said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of NAACP in a statement.
He added: "Until this nation is ready to deal with systemic racism, which can manifest itself in police brutality, criminal justice, education, voting rights, economic gaps in wealth and any other conceivable area that offers us an equal and sustainable area of life, America remains against the treaty with the black community. "
This article originally appeared in the U.S. TODAY: Rayshard Brooks: Atlanta protesters return to Wendy's, State Capitol
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