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The Real Sin That Claimed Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields’ Scalp

Besides resulting in the destruction of a Wendy's, which had absolutely nothing to do with the events, other than being the unfortunate location, this story has exposed the real sin, according to the NAACP, of APD's now-former chief Erika Shields.

A Wendy’s has been burned to the ground in Atlanta by protestors triggered by another police-involved shooting by APD, and the chief of police has resigned for the sin of not being black when it happened.

Let’s review what we know so far.

Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, was sleeping in his car at the Wendy’s drive-through, so the employees called the police. Officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Bronsan, who are white, responded, rousted Brooks and administered a roadside sobriety test. Brooks failed.

When the officers attempted to take Brooks into custody, he resisted. During the struggle, Brooks managed to wrestle an officer’s Taser and ran “about 5, 6, 7 parking spaces,” according to GBI Director Vic Reynolds, with the officers in pursuit.

Brooks pointed the Taser back at the officers while running. “At that point, the Atlanta officer reaches down and retrieves his weapon from his holster, discharges it, strikes Mr. Brooks there on the parking lot,” Reynolds said. Brooks died at the hospital. The whole thing was caught on video from body cams and Wendy’s surveillance video.

The story became tinder, in that “white officers killed a black man.” That’s the entirety of it.

Brooks had a family. We don’t know–and his family should be asking–why the man was sleeping in his car at a Wendy’s, why he failed a roadside sobriety test (though an autopsy and drug screen will help answer that), and why he resisted arrest. If he had simply gone to jail, none of this, would have happened–obviously. Would the story then be, “white officers arrest a black man?”

Besides resulting in the destruction of a Wendy’s, which had absolutely nothing to do with the events, other than being the unfortunate location, this story has exposed the real sin, according to the NAACP, of APD’s now-former chief Erika Shields.

“At this time, we must address the oversaturated police presence in Georgia’s Black communities,” the NAACP said in a statement Saturday. “This is not the first time a Black man was killed for sleeping. The Atlanta Police Department has a history of antagonizing our Black communities.”

What a bombshell of a loaded statement! Brooks wasn’t killed for sleeping. He was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, which sleeping in the driver’s seat of your car in a Wendy’s drive-through will get anyone arrested, white, black, Asian, or whatever race.

Shields fired officer Rolfe. Whether that was the correct decision isn’t known, but it seems justified as this man shot and killed someone who wasn’t aiming a gun at him. Then again, Rolfe was acting in self-defense. If, for the sake of argument, Brooks had shot and disabled him with the Taser, and Brooks took his pistol, Rolfe could be dead. That’s not what happened, but in the heat of pursuit, it’s arguable that’s what Rolfe was thinking.

But that’s not good enough for the current political scalping spree. The NAACP didn’t want a white police chief in Atlanta. And they got their wish.

A statement from Chief Erika Shields: "For more than two decades, I have served alongside some of the finest women and…

Posted by City of Atlanta Police Department on Saturday, June 13, 2020

The interim police chief is Deputy Chief Rodney Bryant. Here’s what you need to know:

A graduate of Georgia State University, he received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. He followed up with a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University.

According to Bryant’s LinkedIn, he became Police Deputy Chief for the city of Atlanta in 2015 and served in that capacity before advancing to Assistant Chief of Police in 2017. His official title before this most recent appointment, according to the social media site, is Police Executive Commander in the City of Atlanta.

But really, all you need to know is this.

Bryant is black.

This won’t solve the problems in Atlanta and in other police departments struggling with use of excessive and deadly force. But it will make those who cite race (“a Black man was killed for sleeping.”) as the primary reason for the issues happy that they got another scalp.

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