When will it stop? Rayshard Brooks, an American 27-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by an Atlanta Police Department officer on the evening of June 12, 2020. Mr. Brooks had fallen asleep in his vehicle at a Wendy’s drive-through.
Despite the fact that tens of millions of people around the world have been marching and otherwise protesting the despicable murder of George Floyd, once again an unarmed Black man has been murdered by a police officer, in this case amounting to summary execution for resisting arrest. This is vile and unacceptable.
MFJ vehemently condemns this racist murder and calls upon all local and state governments to institute an immediate and thorough review of all police department policies and procedures. A message must be sent to police officers and departments that they will pay an immediate price for killing any unarmed suspect or individual, no matter the circumstances.
We applaud Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for her role in the announcement on Saturday that the city’s police chief, Erika Shields, had resigned, and that the officer who shot Brooks, Garrett Rolfe, was fired. Another officer at the scene, Devin Brosnan, was put on administrative duty.
It is almost certain that these actions are a result of the millions of people who have come out over the past two weeks in support of #BlackLivesMatter and to condemn police killings, police brutality, and the systemic racism that underlies these actions. This leaves only one possible way forward: we must all keep marching, keep protesting, keeping our elected officials’ feet to the fire by demanding action at every level of government, not just in police departments, to begin, continue and speed up the process of rooting out institutional racism in every aspect of American life.