June 13, 2020 - Atlanta - Protestors gather at the Atlanta Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by Atlanta police Friday evening during a struggle in a Wendy’s drive-thru line, Steve Schaefer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Social media, protesters react to death of Rayshard Brooks in police shooting

After 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was killed in a police shooting in Atlanta Friday night, people took to social media to decry the incident.

Brooks’ death comes after weeks of protests in metro Atlanta and around the country about police violence against black people. In Minneapolis, George Floyd was killed on Memorial Day after a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged in Floyd’s death.

Lil Yachty weighed in on Brooks’ death, as did others.

Using hashtags like #StopKillingUs and #BlackLivesMatter, they expressed hurt and frustration.

At the Wendy’s where Brooks was shot, a crowd blocked the parking lot and marched holding signs. They chanted “No justice, no peace.” 

One demonstrator held a sign that read, “Another Black Man Was Killed In Your Neighborhood.” 

A woman in the crowd said she drove to the restaurant at 7:45 a.m. after seeing video of the shooting on social media. 

She shouted: “They were out here selling burgers and we shut this (expletive) down.” 

As they drove by, dozens of motorists have honked in support.

About 10:45, a sedan pulled up and people in the car said they were relatives of Brooks. They declined to talk to the media and drove off a few minutes later. 

 Another car pulled up and one of the demonstrators said to the driver, “Get you a burger at a black-owned business.”

Protesters called for sit-ins.

“This is the new ground zero,” said John Wade, a leader of the demonstration at the Wendy’s on University Avenue where Brooks was killed. “Another man was taken right at this spot.”

On Twitter, people continued to lament Brooks’ death and police actions.

And people expressed frustration with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and other black politicians. When some people started looting following protests earlier in the month, Bottoms gave a speech along with celebrities Killer Mike and T.I., calling for people to go home.

Those people included former mayoral candidate Vincent Fort.

The protesters at the Wendy’s began marching. The Atlanta Police Department helped them block traffic as people reacted to Brooks’ death.

‘Here to demand change’

As protests have been consistent in metro Atlanta for more than two weeks, they continued in other parts of the city. 

In Roswell, hundreds of people marched through downtown against racism and police brutality. The march was led by the city’s police chief, James Conroy, and Lee Jenkins, senior pastor of Eagles Nest Church in Alpharetta. 

The marchers included U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, a Democrat who represents the area. McBath said the recent deaths that have sparked the protests reminded her of her son’s death, which she described as racially motivated. 

The congresswoman called this “a historical reckoning moment for America.” 

“We must be fully committed, not fair-weathered” to addressing these issues, McBath told the crowd in a speech beforehand. 

Roswell Mayor Lori Henry told the crowd her city and others must accept and address being built on laws, policies and practices that systematically oppressed African Americans. 

“These vestiges of racism still taint our system,” she said. 

The marchers returned City Hall, where many posed for pictures in front of a long “Black Lives Matter” sign. 

Roswell resident Karen Bevan, 67, learned about the march on Facebook. 

“I just want to be here to demand change in a peaceful way,” she said.

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