The Latest: Atlanta officer fired after shooting of Brooks
TOP OF THE HOUR:
— Atlanta police officer fired after fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks.
— Clemson football team members lead demonstration on campus.
— Bust of slave owner torn down, thrown in river in New Orleans.
ATLANTA — An Atlanta police officer has been fired following the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks, and a second officer has been placed on administrative leave.
Atlanta police announced the termination of Garrett Rolfe early Sunday, a move that follows the Saturday resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms had called for the officer who shot Brooks on Friday night to be fired, saying she didn’t think it was “justified use of deadly force.” The officer placed on administrative leave is Devin Brosnan.
The killing of Brooks sparked a new wave of protests in Atlanta, where demonstrations following the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis had largely simmered down. The Wendy’s restaurant outside where Brooks was fatally shot was set ablaze Saturday night, although the fire was out by 11:30 p.m.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is handling the shooting probe and will turn over results to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office to decide if charges against Rolfe or Brosnan are warranted.
CLEMSON, S.C. — Members of the Clemson University football team led hundreds of demonstrators on the school’s campus Saturday as they marched for equality and against police brutality.
The demonstration included a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time prosecutors say George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was pinned to the ground with his neck under a white Minneapolis police officer’s knee before he died last month.
“This is a historic time, and a challenging time,” head football coach Dabo Swinney told the crowd. “But as I tell my team all the time, challenge is what creates change. … Black lives more than matter — black lives significantly matter and equally matter. For far too long that has not been the case for the black community.”
The protest was organized by quarterback Trevor Lawrence, linebacker Mike Jones Jr., wide receiver Cornell Powell and running back Darien Rencher, according to news outlets.
The march came a day after Clemson trustees voted to rename its honors college, stripping from the program the name of former vice president and slavery proponent John C. Calhoun.
Calhoun, who was born in South Carolina, declared slavery a “positive good” on the U.S. Senate floor in 1837.
Before the administrators’ vote, an online petition by students calling for the name to be changed drew more than 20,000 signatures. Clemson football alumni and one-time Houston Texans teammates DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson voiced support for the petition on social media.
NEW ORLEANS — Protesters tore down a bust of a slave owner who left part of his fortune to New Orleans’ schools, and then they took the remains to the Mississippi River and rolled it down the banks into the water.
The destruction Saturday is part of a nationwide effort to remove monuments to the Confederacy or with links to slavery as the country grapples with widespread protests against police brutality toward African Americans.
Police said in a statement Saturday that demonstrators at Duncan Plaza, which is directly across the street from City Hall, dragged the bust into the streets, loaded it onto trucks and took it to the Mississippi River where they threw it in. Two people who were driving the trucks transporting the bust were apprehended by police and taken to police headquarters, authorities said. Their names were not given in the statement.
The police did not identify the bust, but local media identified it as one depicting John McDonogh. When he died, McDonogh left a large portion of his money to New Orleans and Baltimore for schools, and many schools in New Orleans are named after him.
Video on social media showed dozens surrounding the bust, which sat on a pedestal while some people pulled on a rope tied to the bust and another hit it. As the bust tilts and then crashes to the ground the crowd cheers. Another video posted on social media shows a crowd watching as the bust is rolled down the rocky banks of the Mississippi River and into the water.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a tweet that the city “rejects vandalism and destruction of City property. It is unlawful.”