Atlanta Mayor Plans Curbs on Police After Brooks Death

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Atlanta’s mayor is vowing to change police use-of-force policies and require that officers receive continuous training in how to deescalate situations before the consequences become fatal, the Associated Press reports. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced her plans after the police killing of Rayshard Brooks outside a fast-food restaurant on Friday touched off more large protests in the city. The mayor said she’ll also require officers to intervene if they see a colleague using excessive force, saying “they are duty-bound to intercede.” She said, “It’s very clear that our police officers are to be guardians and not warriors within our communities.” Other cities are taking similar steps, and police reform proposals are emerging in Congress.

Pleading through tears on Monday, Brooks’ relatives demanded changes in criminal justice and called on protesters to refrain from violence as tensions remain high across the U.S. three weeks after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. An autopsy found that Brooks, 27, was shot twice in the back. Two white officers had responded to calls about a man who was asleep at the wheel in a Wendy’s drive-through lane. Police video showed him cooperating until a breath test determined his blood-alcohol level was over the legal limit and one of the officers moved to handcuff him. The officers took him to the ground. Brooks broke free and took off with a stun gun; a white officer shot him as he tried to run away. His niece, Chassidy Evans, said there was no reason for him “to be shot and killed like trash in the street for falling asleep in a drive-thru.” District Attorney Paul Howard said he hopes to decide by midweek whether to bring charges in the Brooks case. Officer Garrett Rolfe, who fired the shots that killed Brooks, was fired.

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