What we know: Timeline of Rayshard Brooks' death, protests and fallout from incident at Atlanta Wendy's
The Atlanta Police Department released the body camera video captured during the fatal shooting death of Rayshard Brooks. Wochit
Amid nationwide protests of racial inequality following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, the shooting of another Black man by white police officer, this time in Atlanta, has again reignited anger and calls for police reform.
Rayshard Brooks was shot Friday night after he tried to flee from two white police officers following an incident in which he fell asleep inside his car outside a Wendy's restaurant. His death has been ruled a homicide.
Brooks was 27.
His death came just weeks after Floyd, an unarmed, 46-year-old Black man, died while detained in Minneapolis. Floyd was pinned to the ground by police officer Derek Chauvin, who held his knee on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes. Floyd's death sparked national protests against police brutality and systemic racism.
Here is a timeline of the events surrounding Brooks’ death.
A birthday party before it all happened
Brooks family attorney Justin Miller said that to celebrate his daughter’s eighth birthday, Brooks took her Friday to get her nails done and picked up something to eat, hours before the altercation later that night outside the Wendy’s. The birthday party was supposed to roll into the following day and Brooks’ daughter had picked out a special dress to wear Saturday, when they were supposed to go skating.
The Atlanta Police released the 911 call that led to the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks at a Wendy's drive-thru. USA TODAY
Police make initial contact with Brooks
On Friday night, Atlanta Police were dispatched to the Wendy’s. According to body camera footage that was released on Saturday, two white officers approached Brooks’ car at 10:42 p.m. after he had fallen asleep while waiting in line at the drive-thru. Other customers, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, were forced to drive around before the officers arrived.
Once at the scene, officers asked Brooks to move his car over to a parking space away from the other cars near the drive-thru, the bodycam footage shows. In the video, Brooks is seen stepping out of his car and answering the officers' questions.
The officers administered a sobriety test at 11:22 p.m., according to the bodycam video. Brooks failed. The bodycam footage then shows that one minute later, the two officers tried to handcuff Brooks, before he attempted to flee. In the short struggle, Brooks appears to wrestle a taser from one of the officers, while the other one removed his taser from his holster and deployed it.
According to the bodycam video, three gunshots are heard seconds before 11:24 p.m.
Later, the GBI obtained surveillance footage from cameras outside the Wendy's.
“These new videos indicate that during a physical struggle with officers, Brooks obtained one of the officer's Tasers and began to flee from the scene,” the GBI said. “Officers pursued Brooks on foot and during the chase, Brooks turned and pointed the Taser at the officer. The officer fired his weapon, striking Brooks.”
One officer was treated for an injury and discharged after the confrontation
Brooks taken to hospital for surgery
According to the GBI, Brooks died late Friday night at a hospital after he being taken there for surgery.
'Have y’all heard nothing anybody has said?'
By early Saturday morning, news of Brooks’ death started to circulate, leading to protests in Atlanta, with the epicenter at the Wendy’s where the incident occurred.
Several hundred people gathered in the parking lot. Some chanted "say his name" and carried signs that read "He didn’t deserve to die" and "convict the killer cop." The restaurant was closed to patrons.
“We’ve been out here for a couple weeks now and y’all still killing folks,” said Kayla Pruitt, 24, of Atlanta. “It’s like have y’all heard nothing anybody has said?”
The peaceful protest suddenly turned violent around 8:30 p.m. afterriot police arrived, toting guns. Some protesters began surrounding one police car and rocking it. Other protesters surged on the police and troops without touching them, forcing the law enforcement officials to walk backwards from the crowd. After a few minutes, law enforcement officials released several canisters of tear gas into the crowd, sending protesters fleeing.
Protesters later shut down an interstate highway in both directions and set fire to the Wendy’s restaurant, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Police chief resigns, Atlanta mayor calls for change
Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Saturday that Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned. Bottoms then called for the officer who shot Brooks to be fired and for the other to be placed on administrative duty.
"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," Bottoms said.
One officer fired, other reassigned
By early Sunday, Atlanta Police Department Sergeant John Chafee confirmed to USA TODAY that officer Garrett Rolfe, who was hired in October 2013, was fired for shooting Brooks. The other officer involved in the incident, Devin Brosnan, was placed on administrative duty. Brosnan was hired in September 2018.
Protests continue Sunday: ‘They are killing us every day’
Again on Sunday protesters set fire to the Wendy’s restaurant where Brooks was killed.
Some in the small group at the restaurant played music from speakers. Others held each other in front of the memorial of flowers and stuffed animals that lined the front of the gutted restaurant.
Occasionally, cars pulled in and rolled around the building, tracing the drive-thru line that Brooks was waiting in when he fell asleep, prompting the fatal 911 call.
Only a few protesters showed up to the Capitol building, where state police had one street blocked off. No protesters came near the law enforcement officers.
Brooks' death ruled a homicide
On Sunday night, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's office ruled Brooks’ death a homicide, caused by two gunshots wounds to the back.
March on Monday
Brooks' widow Tomika Miller and other family members were to address media on Monday morning, along with family attorneys L. Chris Stewart and Miller.
A March for Justice was also under way, starting at The Richard B. Russell Federal Building and ending at the state Capitol.
Contributing: Jordan Culver, Grace Hauck, David Heath, Conor Hughes, Nicquel Terry Ellis, USA TODAY