WASHINGTON | The death in Atlanta of a black man killed by a white policeman has rekindled the anger of the demonstrators against racism in the United States and led to the resignation of the head of the police of this city in the South, mobilization against racism is continuing around the world.
The medical examiner described Sunday’s homicide in the death Friday evening of Rayshard Brooks, 27 years. The restaurant chain Wendy’s near where he had been mortally wounded by a police officer was set on fire Saturday as hundreds of people protesting in the capital of the State of Georgia, blocking a highway.
The death of Rayshard Brooks spoke on the background of continuing protests against the police violence and racism in the United States and in other countries, following the death on may 25, George Floyd, an African-American who died asphyxiated by a white policeman in Minneapolis (Minnesota).
The mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms, whose name has been advanced as a possible colistière of the democratic party Joe Biden for the presidential election in November, announced on Saturday that the resignation “immediate” Erika Shields, who headed the city police for over 20 years.
Anger is “legitimate”
According to an official report, Rayshard Brooks, 27 years old, was asleep in his car on the driveway of the service to the self of the restaurant and the employees of the establishment called the police because his vehicle was blocking the customers.
The man was intoxicated and resisted when two white police officers wanted to stop it, says the Bureau of investigation of the State of Georgia (GBI).
The images of the incident, made public on Sunday by the police, show a struggle between the officers and the suspect managed to grab the Taser gun of one of the police officers and fled.
But while the GBI says that Mr. Brooks turned around and pointed the Taser toward the officer who used his weapon”, the images showed that the suspect has his back turned to the policeman when he is wounded by bullets.
Transported to a hospital and operated on, he died soon after, state investigators, according to which an agent was wounded.
The police officer who shot, Garrett Rolfe, has been referred to the police of Atlanta and the second officer is assigned to administrative tasks, reported the tv channel ABC News.
According to the local daily newspaper Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the attorney of the district of Fulton, Paul Howard, said that his office would decide by the middle of the week of the prosecution.
This is the 48th case of a shooting involving a police officer on which the GBI investigation since the beginning of the year, according to the newspaper. Fifteen of those shootings have been fatal.
A lawyer acting on behalf of the family of the victim, Chris Stewart, has condemned the use of disproportionate force against Rayshard Brooks. “In Georgia, a Taser is not a deadly weapon (…) there were other options than to shoot him in the back”, he told journalists.
Rayshard Brooks, the father of four children, had celebrated on the same day, the eighth anniversary of her daughter, according to the lawyer.
The ex-elected african-american from Georgia’s Stacey Abrams, the other colistière potential of Joe Biden, has deemed Sunday a “legitimate” anger of the protesters.
“A man was killed because he slept in an alley and we know that this is not an isolated incident”, she explained.
James Clyburn, representative, democratic african-american from South Carolina, said he was incensed. “There was no need to use lethal force. And I don’t know what drove this guy to do this. This must be in the culture. This must be the system,” he said on CNN. He took his distances with the slogan “defund the police” (cut off funds to the police), stating that “the police have a role to play” and that “we need to ensure that its role complies with the time”.
Human chain in Berlin
In Europe, in the aftermath of protests, anti-racism in France, Great Britain or Switzerland, the Germans took to the street on Sunday.
The british prime minister, Boris Johnson has announced the creation of a commission on racial inequalities, calling for confronting the “substance” of racism, and not to the symbols, after recent desecration of statues.
The French president Emmanuel Macron has assured on Sunday that France will be “intransigent” in the face of racism, but “will not erase any trace of it or any name of a story”, and “don déboulonnera no statue.” Human Rights Watch has called for “concrete reforms” short for “identity checks, abusive and discriminatory” and to the “racism within the forces of order.”