Another black life taken, another black person shot and killed by police, this time in Atlanta. Remember the name Rayshard Brooks. But unlike the times before it, accountability of those in charge of the police was taken with a swiftness.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Saturday that police Chief Erika Shields is stepping down after an officer shot and killed a black man during an arrest attempt the night before.
Bottoms said Shields made the decision to resign her top post, which the mayor accepted. The city will launch a national search for her replacement.
“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,” Bottoms said.
Assistant police Chief Rodney Bryant will serve as the interim chief. Bottoms said Shields “will continue in a role, to be determined.”
Bottoms also called for the termination of the police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks on Friday. Brooks took a Taser from an arresting officer, officials said. As Brooks ran away, Bottoms said he turned over his shoulder and appeared to fire the Taser at one of the officers. The officer shot Brooks.
“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,” Bottoms said.
Another officer at the scene has been placed on administrative duty, Bottoms said.
Atlanta protesters took to the streets Saturday for the third weekend with added outrage after Brooks, a 27-year-old black man,was shot and killed at a Wendy’s amid a struggle with police.
Video footage of the incident has been posted on social media and shared widely. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident.
There was no way Shields could have continued as Chief of Police after this, not in Atlanta. While I expect the now terminated officer to face legal charges, it's also extremely positive to see Shields step down on her own accord.
The problem isn't just the officers, it's the administration. And Shields doing the right thing and making way for someone else should be an example to police departments across the country.
Black Lives Matter is having an impact. Before, Shields would have remained, maybe the officer would have been put on leave pending investigation, then cleared to go back to work while the city settled out of court.
No longer. It's a new era.
The police chief on a Lake Erie resort island has been placed on leave and two officers have resigned following the arrests of a group of black tourists riding on a golf cart, the mayor said.
Police body cameras showed Put-in-Bay officers used stun guns on at least two people during the stop last weekend that began when two white officers said the golf cart’s operator was driving recklessly.
In all, nine people were arrested on charges including assault, aggravated rioting and resisting arrest. A county prosecutor dismissed the charges against six and told the Sandusky Register that charges against the others also would likely be dropped.
Eight of the nine arrested were black, the newspaper said. Some of their family members said the arrests were racially motivated.
Village Mayor Jessica Dress said Thursday there will be a thorough review of what happened, and that Police Chief Steve Riddle was being placed on administrative leave during the investigation.
Two officers also resigned, Dress said, without explaining why. Several other officers were involved in the arrests.
“As a community, we hold our police department accountable for any and all of its decisions,” the mayor said in a statement.
I would say that we need more of this, but we don't need any more racism and any more killings and injuries. We need racist cops to be let go and more importantly the police unions and administration that enable these assholes need to be gone as well.
Black Lives Matter.