The officer, who shot the 27-year-old African-American man in the back, has been fired in the wake of the tragic incident, and Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields has stepped down.
Rapper/actor T.I. joined protesters on the streets of Atlanta, Georgia over the weekend to demand justice for another African-American man shot and killed by police on Friday night, June 12.
Rayshard Brooks had fallen asleep in his car at a Wendy’s drive-through restaurant when he was approached by a white police officer, who was responding to a call about a possible driving under the influence (DUI) incident.
Reports suggest the 27-year-old failed a field sobriety test and resisted arrest, allegedly grabbing the cop’s stun gun and attempting to run, prompting the officer to fatally shoot him in the back.
According to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the arresting officer in question has been fired, while the city’s Police Chief Erika Shields has stepped down over the incident, which occurs amid ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations calling for police accountability following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white Minnesota police officer in late May.
T.I. was among the activists in Atlanta on Saturday, when he addressed those at the rally and called for unity to continue the fight to end police brutality.
Discussing Brooks’ death, he said, “I don’t give a d**n what your opinion is of the person. I don’t give a d**n what he did. The man didn’t deserve to die like that. And any policeman out here who stands behind that s**t your a** in trouble too (sic).”
“We are going to have to organize,” he continued, according to video footage obtained by Radio.com. “We’re going to have to demonstrate but we are going to have to do it with purpose. And when I say purpose, I mean direction. We’ve got to go where we need to go and do what we need to do in those areas.”
The “Live Your Life” hitmaker wasn’t the only Atlanta hip-hop icon to condemn Brooks’ slaying.
Run the Jewels star Killer Mike shared his distress at the young man’s death in a lengthy post on Instagram, writing in part, “#RayshardBrooks should be alive this morning. He should be waking up (hungover or drunk in the tank depending on whether he was apprehended) and not dead.”
“I’m mad as hell and I am saddened beyond consolation,” he added.