Protesters roared across Atlanta, protesting the police shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, who had fallen asleep in the drive-thru lane of a Wendy’s.
The case is the latest instance of the police killing a black man, but this one might become a test of how far the current movement can, or should, go. While the police clearly shot Brooks, the events leading up to is demise were captured on camera.
The police were professional and even courteous to Brooks, who was eventually arrested for driving while intoxicated. When the officers tried to cuff him, Brooks began to fight. The officers shouted, “Don’t fight!” and told Brooks they would shock him with a TASER. Brooks wrested free, taking a TASER from one of the officers, then Brooks ran. An officer chased him. Brooks turned and fired the TASER at the officer, who then shot Brooks.
Brooks was not shot for falling asleep in a drive-thru line, or for resisting arrest. He was shot for firing a Taser at a police officer while trying to flee.
Does that rise the level of deadly force? That’s a question Americans will spend the next several days, if not weeks, trying to answer.
In the meantime, rioters burned down the Wendy’s, as if that restaurant had anything to do with the events that happened outside, Police Chief Ericka Shields resigned, and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms called for the officer involved to be fired, which he was.