ATLANTA (CBS46) -- A white Atlanta Police officer shot and killed an African-American father of three late Friday night that set off a chain of events that included the resignation of a police chief, buildings burned, and major roadways blocked by protesters.
Officer Garrett Rolfe was fired Saturday afternoon less than 24 hours after the shooting. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Brooks had fallen asleep in his car while in the drive-thru of a Wendy's on University Avenue in Atlanta. The GBI said when officers arrived, they talked with Brooks and gave him a sobriety test, which they said he failed.
At that point, Brooks and the officers struggled before he was able to get control of one of the officer's stun guns. The GBI said Brooks then began to run and officers started to chase him. GBI investigators said Brooks turned to the officers with the stun gun up and he was shot by Officer Rolfe who was chasing him. Brooks later died at a hospital during surgery. Officer Devin Brosnan was also on the scene and was put on administrative leave.
Video of the time before and after the shooting hit social media and went viral quickly. The shooting death came just weeks after George Floyd was killed when a Minneapolis Police officer knelt on his neck. The officer in Minneapolis has been charged with murder and the death set off a wave of primarily peaceful protests across the nation and here in Atlanta.
Protesters immediately descended into the area of the Wendy's late Friday night after the shooting. The protesters remained on the scene as dawn broke Saturday. Throughout the morning, tensions remained high around the area and multiple protests were held around metro Atlanta in the wake of the shooting death.
By Saturday afternoon, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms held a press conference to address the situation. During the press conference, Mayor Bottoms revealed for the first time Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields had offered her resignation to the mayor and the resignation had been accepted.
As day turned to night, large groups of protesters surrounded the Wendy's store and a nearby gas station. Another group of protesters also walked into the traffic on I-75/I-85 near University Avenue and shut down traffic in both directions. The Wendy's store was eventually set on fire during the protests. Police were on the scene, but didn't actively engage, physically, with the protesters at the scene.
Atlanta Police moved in on the protesters blocking I-75/I-85 and eventually cleared the road for traffic after 9 p.m. Police closed off the area around University Avenue and I-75/I-85 and wren't letting traffic in or out of the area.
With no curfew in place, police let the protesters remain in the area and worked to keep the area contained. Smoke could be seen at multiple times as some protesters started to try to smash the windows of a nearby convenience store in the early morning hours Sunday. As the crowd retreated from the area, many could be seen covering, wiping, and coughing as they ran from the scene.
Against this backdrop, tensions remained high Sunday morning and as legislators prepare to return to the state legislature on Monday. The legislature is expected to work on a hate crimes law and could face protesters as well Monday.