Police chief in US city resigns after officer kills African-American man
Published: Jun 14, 2020 03:23 PM

Protesters kneel during a demonstration in solidarity with the global Black Lives Matter movement as they protest over police brutality and white supremacy in the US outside the US Embassy in Nairobi on June 2, 2020. Photo: AFP

The police chief in the US city of Atlanta resigned after an officer fatally shot an African-American man during an arrest, the mayor said on Saturday, with the new killing injecting fresh anger into protests against racism and police brutality.

Demonstrators blocked an interstate highway and set alight the Wendy's where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was killed late Saturday, local media reported. 

This came hours after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms - who has been touted as a potential running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden - announced the resignation of Chief Erika Shields.

Brooks had been asleep in his car at a Wendy's fast food restaurant drive-through late Friday, and employees called police to complain he was blocking other customers, an official report said. 

He failed in a sobriety test and resisted when police tried to arrest him, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

Surveillance video showed "that during a physical struggle with officers, Brooks obtained one of the officer's Tasers and began to flee from the scene," the report continued.   

"Officers pursued Brooks on foot and during the chase, Brooks turned and pointed the Taser at the officer. The officer fired his weapon, striking Brooks," it stated.

Brooks was taken to a hospital but died after surgery, it said, adding that one officer was injured.

The unrest comes as the US faces a historic reckoning on systemic racism, with mass civil unrest ignited by the May 25 killing of another African-American man, George Floyd, while in police custody.

Shields had worked for Atlanta's police department for more than two decades.

"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," the mayor said in televised comments.

Bottoms also called for the officer who shot Brooks to be fired.