Atlanta on Fire After Police Shooting, One Week After Reports of Mayor Being Possible VP Candidate
Last week, we reported that Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms, who has been one of the only Democrat big-city mayors to criticize the rioting in her city, was being vetted as a possible running mate for Democrat nominee Joe Biden.
However, that may have totally changed over the weekend, where the city has become a center of rioting after police shot Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man in the parking lot of a Wendy’s, after Brooks allegedly resisted arrest, grabbed an officer’s taser and fired it at him while running.
This caused the police chief, Erika Shields, to step down on Saturday, stating that “[o]ut of a deep and abiding love for this City and this department, I offered to step aside as police chief.” Mayor Bottoms said that Shields would still remain with the department, but that she did not believe that this was a justified use of force by the police.
It was also reported that the two officers involved were disciplined, with Officer Garrett Rolfe being fired and Officer Devin Bronsan being placed on administrative duty.
Then, on Saturday night, rioters filled the parking lot of the Wendy’s where Brooks was shot, and set it on fire a few times over the course of the night.
The Wendy’s on University Ave. where #RayshardBrooks was shot and killed was set on fire again at around 4:00 this morning. Atlanta Fire Department is working to put out the flames. @cbs46 pic.twitter.com/NMoA3Kvo7j
— Barmel Lyons CBS46 (@BarmelLyonsTV) June 14, 2020
— Jim Zorn (@PhotoZorn_FOX5) June 14, 2020
Fox News reported that smaller fires were also seen throughout the area.
Georgia governor Brian Kemp announced an investigation into the incident.
At the @Atlanta_Police Department’s request, the @GBI_GA launched an investigation into the conduct of two APD officers that led to the death of #RayshardBrooks. I am confident GBI Director Vic Reynolds and his team will follow the facts to ensure justice is served. (1/2) https://t.co/Ck1V85qw9I
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) June 13, 2020
As of this writing, Bottoms has not condemned these riots stemming from her city. Maybe that will change, but the talk about her being a possible VP pick should be gone by now. Her apparent siding with the rioters and against the police in a clear incident of justified force, should expend any political capital she had.
Pray for Atlanta, and pray for the mayor to do the right thing. But Bottoms has shown she would not be a unifying figure by any standard.