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Atlanta Shooting: Restaurant Set On Fire During Protests After Black Man Shot Dead By Police

A fast food restaurant in Atlanta has been set on fire by protesters after a black man was fatally shot by a police officer in the car park. Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old father, died in hospital following the shooting outside a Wendy’s in the US city on Friday night.

Investigators said Mr Brooks had grabbed an officer’s Taser during a struggle before being shot.

Footage on Saturday night showed small fires around the car park before another blaze appeared to start at an entrance to the restaurant, gradually engulfing most of the building.

One police officer, Garrett Rolfe, has been sacked following the shooting and a second, Devin Bronsan, has been placed on administrative leave.

Police chief Erika Shields had earlier resigned.

Atlanta’s mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said: “I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force.

“Chief Shields has offered to immediately step aside as police chief so that the city may move forward with urgency in rebuilding the trust desperately needed in our communities.”

Ms Shields said: “Out of a deep and abiding love for this city and this department, I offered to step aside as police chief.

Atlanta Shooting: Restaurant Set On Fire During Protests After Black Man Shot Dead By Police

“I have faith in the mayor, and it is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

The shooting is being investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which said Mr Brooks had failed a sobriety test and then resisted officers’ attempts to arrest him.

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The incident had started late on Friday night when police were called to reports of a man sleeping in a car and blocking a drive-thru lane at a Wendy’s restaurant.

The bureau’s director, Vic Reynolds, said Mr Brooks had grabbed a Taser from one officer and pointed it towards him as he ran.

After running a short distance, Mr Brooks “turns around and it appears to the eye that he points the Taser at the Atlanta officer”, Mr Reynolds said, in comments reported by NBC.

Atlanta Shooting: Restaurant Set On Fire During Protests After Black Man Shot Dead By Police

“At that point, the Atlanta officer reaches down and retrieves his weapon from his holster, discharges it, strikes Mr Brooks there on the parking lot, and he goes down.”

Mr Reynolds said: “In a circumstance like this where an officer is involved in the use of deadly force, the public has a right to know what happened.”

An investigation into the shooting has been launched by the county district attorney’s office.

Atlanta Shooting: Restaurant Set On Fire During Protests After Black Man Shot Dead By Police

It comes amid widespread protests in the US and other countries against police brutality and racism.

The demonstrations were inspired by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes in Minneapolis on 25 May.

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