Atlanta protests: Demonstrations continue at site of Rayshard Brooks’ death

Protesters gather on University Avenue on Wednesday near the burned Wendy’s in southwest Atlanta.

Protesters gather on University Avenue on Wednesday near the burned Wendy’s in southwest Atlanta.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the burned Wendy's in southwest Atlanta for a fifth straight day, hours after charges were announced against the two officers involved in Rayshard Brooks' shooting death.

Brooks, a 27-year-old father with three young daughters and a stepson, was shot and killed Friday evening following a fight with officers during a DUI arrest in the drive-thru of the fast food restaurant.

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On Wednesday afternoon, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said Garrett Rolfe, the former Atlanta officer who fired the fatal shots, would be charged with felony murder and 10 other offenses in connection with Brooks’ death.

By 6 p.m., about 70 protesters had converged on the restaurant, which has been turned into a makeshift memorial for Brooks in recent days. Many of them carried Black Lives Matter signs and about a dozen parked cars on University Avenue, blocking the road and forcing other vehicles to turn around.

Demonstrators with bullhorns ordered at least two MARTA buses to make U-turns near the intersection.

Rayshard Brooks (left), Garrett Rolfe

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RELATED: Former Atlanta cop charged with felony murder in Rayshard Brooks' death

Several police cars were also parked nearby, but the police presence is significantly smaller than it has been in recent days. As of 7 p.m., a police helicopter circled overhead, but there appeared to be few uniformed officers at the scene.

June 17, 2020 - Atlanta - A protestor sits on University Avenue in Atlanta, near the Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed. 
Ben Gray for the Atlanta Journal Constitution

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Gary Stokes, who helped organize Wednesday’s demonstration, called it unfair that the two officers charged in Brooks’ death will be allowed to voluntarily turn themselves in.

“That's an injustice to us,” said Stokes, adding he would like to see the Wendy’s completely demolished and turned into a park to memorialize Brooks’ life.

Friday’s shooting came after two weeks of nationwide protests calling for an end to racial injustice and police brutality against people of color.

Rolfe, the officer charged with murder in the case, also faces five counts of aggravated assault, one count of first-degree criminal damage to property and four counts of violation of oath by an officer, according to arrest warrants released by the DA’s office.

Devin Brosnan, the other officer involved in the struggle, will face four charges, including one count of aggravated assault and three counts of violation of oath, the warrants said.

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