Atlanta Wendy's Burns in New Protests

Some 3 dozen arrested in Georgia as anti-racist protests continue to roil the US, Paris, England
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 14, 2020 5:43 AM CDT
Atlanta Wendy's Burns in New Protests
Protesters raise their fists during a march against police brutality and racism in Marseille, France, Saturday, June 13, 2020, organized by supporters of Adama Traore, who died in police custody in 2016.   (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Protests initially ignited by the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police continued over the weekend, as anti-racism protesters sought to call attention to the deaths of two more black men and Black Lives Matter demonstrations unfolded in London and Paris. Early Sunday, Atlanta police announced that an officer had been fired following the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks, 27, on Friday night, and another officer had been placed on administrative duty. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has called for the immediate firing of the officer who opened fire on Brooks at a press conference Saturday evening, where she also announced that she had accepted the resignation of Police Chief Erika Shields. “I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force,” Bottoms said. A look around the landscape, via the AP:

  • Roughly 150 protesters marched outside the Wendy's restaurant outside where Brooks was shot, reigniting demonstrations that had largely simmered in the Georgia capital nearly three weeks after Floyd, another black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee to his neck.
  • The Wendy's was set aflame at one point Saturday night, although the fire was out before midnight. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said that Brooks, who was seen on body camera video sleeping in a car blocking the Wendy's drive thru, failed a sobriety test and was shot in a struggle over a police Taser. CNN notes that at least 36 people have been arrested in connection.
  • Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat who gained national prominence running for governor in 2018, tweeted that “sleeping in a drive-thru must not end in death.”
  • In Palmdale, Calif., hundreds on Saturday marched to demand an investigation into the death of Robert Fuller, 24, who was found hanging from a tree early Wednesday near city hall.
  • Protesters in New Orleans tore down a bust of a slave owner who left part of his fortune to New Orleans’ schools and then took the remains to the Mississippi River and rolled it down the banks into the water. The police did not identify the bust but it was of John McDonogh. Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a tweet that the city “rejects vandalism and destruction of City property. It is unlawful.”

  • Members of the Clemson University football team led hundreds of demonstrators on the school’s campus in South Carolina. The march came a day after Clemson trustees voted to rename its honors college, stripping from the program the name of former vice president and slavery proponent John C. Calhoun.
  • European protesters sought to show solidarity with their American counterparts and to confront bias in their own countries on Saturday. A rally in Paris drew 15,000, led by supporters of Adama Traore, a French black man who died in police custody in 2016. No one has been charged in his death. Police fired tear gas and blocked people from marching.
  • A Black Lives Matter group in London called off a demonstration, saying the presence of counter-protesters would make it unsafe. Many gathered around the statue of Winston Churchill, which had been daubed with the words “was a racist.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Churchill a hero but acknowledged that he “sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today."
  • One French black woman, Myriam Boicoulin, 31, said she marched because she wanted to be heard. As a black woman living in mainland France, she said, “I’m constantly obliged to adapt, to make compromises, not make waves—to be almost white, in fact. It’s the first time people see us. Let us breathe.”
(More Black Lives Matter stories.)

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