…on another day in a country still under a public health crisis, and still gripped by protests over police brutality and structural racism.
The protests began after George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, was killed by officers in Minneapolis. But the deaths, and the protests, keep coming.
In Atlanta overnight, demonstrators marched and a Wendy’s restaurant burned. The night before, outside the drive-thru, police were called to deal with a man sleeping in his car. The man failed a sobriety test, investigators said, and after a struggle in which he took one of the officers’ Tasers, Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old African American man, was killed.
On Saturday, the story brewed slowly through the day, facts coming out, crowds gathering, law enforcement talking. The incident was caught on video. Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she “did not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force”. Atlanta police chief Erika Shields resigned. Garrett Rolfe, the officer who allegedly shot Brooks, was fired. The other officer involved, Devin Brosnan, was placed on administrative duty.
And protesters took to the streets.
“You can’t have it both ways in law enforcement,” said Chris Stewart, an attorney for the Brooks family. “You can’t say a Taser is a non-lethal weapon … but when an African American grabs it and runs with it, now it’s some kind of deadly, lethal weapon that calls for you to unload on somebody.”
Welcome to another day in America.
Here’s some more hopeful further reading from Sandra Susan Smith, of Berkeley, soon to be of Harvard: