Atlanta police chief resigns following fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the resignation of Police Chief Erika Shields after Rayshard Brooks was killed by an Atlanta officer in a struggle following a field sobriety test.

Video Transcript

KEISHA LANCE BOTTOM: For the third time in just two weeks, I have spent the better part of a day reviewing video footage involving allegations of excessive use by members of the Atlanta Police Department. Tragically, the most recent incident involved the fatal shooting of a 27-year-old man Rashard Brooks. Officers were called in response to Mr. Brooks falling asleep in his car while in the drive-thru line at a local Wendy's.

After a series of questions and administering a field sobriety test, officers attempted to arrest Mr. Brooks. He tussled with the officers and was able to take the taser from one of the arresting officers. As Mr. Brooks ran away, he turned over his shoulder and appears to fire the taser at one of the officers.

The officer in turn shot Mr. Brooks with his service weapon. While there may be debate as to whether this was an appropriate use of deadly force, I firmly believe that there is a clear distinction between what you can do and what you should do. I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force and have called for the immediate termination of the officer.

What has become abundantly clear over the last couple of weeks in Atlanta is that while we have a police force full of men and women, who work alongside our communities with honor, respect, and dignity, there has been a disconnect with what our expectations are and should be as it relates to interactions with our officers and the communities in which they are entrusted to protect. Chief Erika Shields has been a solid member of APD for over two decades and has a deep and abiding love for the people of Atlanta. And 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 in rebuilding the trust so desperately needed throughout our community.

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