The incident began about 10:30 p.m. outside the fast food chain on University Avenue, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said.
Officers were called to the restaurant after receiving a complaint about a man asleep in his vehicle, which forced other customers to go around his car to get their food at the window. The man, Atlanta resident Rayshard Brooks, was given a field sobriety test, which he reportedly failed, according to the GBI.
GBI Director Vic Reynolds said surveillance footage from the Wendy’s appeared to show Brooks turn toward the police and attempt to fire the Taser as he ran away.
That’s when the officer chasing Brooks pulled out his gun and shot him, authorities said.
“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,” Bottoms said Saturday afternoon. “I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force and have called for the immediate termination of the officer."
Brooks’ death comes after weeks of national protests over officers’ use of force, particularly against people of color.
The nationwide demonstrations began in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police. Floyd, a black man, was pinned under the knee of officer Derek Chauvin for nearly nine minutes.
By Saturday morning, a group of protesters had gathered outside the Wendy’s where Brooks was fatally shot.
John Wade, a leader of the demonstration here at the Wendy’s on University Avenue, where Rayshard Brooks was killed overnight in an officer-involved shooting:
John Wade, the leader of the demonstration, called the parking lot “the new ground zero.”
“Another man was taken right at this spot,” he said.
Credit: Steve Schaefer
Credit: Steve Schaefer
Some protesters also started a makeshift memorial outside the fast food restaurant, leaving behind flowers and cards with Brooks’ name on them.
Additional details surrounding Friday night’s shooting are unclear, and neither of the officers’ names has been released. The GBI said one of the officers involved in the incident suffered minor injuries. He was treated at the hospital and released.
The GBI also said it is aware of the cellphone video circulating online and reviewing the footage as part of its investigation.
The GBI is aware that there is video posted on social media captured by witnesses in this incident. We are reviewing the video & the early investigative information in this case. We’ll provide an update as soon as we can.
Brooks’ death marked the 48th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate this year. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks officer-involved shootings that don't involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the GBI's tally.