Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced on Saturday that the city’s police chief had submitted her resignation just hours after the fatal shooting of a black man who struggled with police during a sobriety test.
Bottoms said it was Police Chief Erika Shields’ own decision to resign from the role, which she took in 2016. According to Bottoms, she will remain with the city in an undetermined position.
The incident came as Atlanta and other cities were already reeling from the death of George Floyd and the mass protests that ensued as a result. Just on Wedsday, two more Atlanta police officers were fired in connection with an incident in which two college students were pulled from a car during protests against police brutality.
With tensions already flaring, Saturday’s shooting of Rayshard Brooks, 27, compounded high-profile cases of black men killed during police encounters.
Authorities maintain that Brooks grabbed an officer’s Taser and ran with it. During a news conference, Bottoms said she didn’t think the use of deadly force was warranted and that she requested the officer involved be fired.
“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.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), which is investigating the shooting, said the deadly confrontation started with officers responding to a complaint that a man was sleeping in a car blocking the restaurant’s drive-thru lane. The GBI said Brooks failed a field sobriety test and then resisted officers’ attempts to arrest him.