ATLANTA — Hours before it happened, the Georgia NAACP had called for the immediate resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields the morning after a black man was killed in a confrontation with Atlanta police.
Shields resigned Saturday. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said it was Shields’ decision and the former chief will be reassigned.
But the Georgia NAACP and Just Georgia coalition is now calling for Shields to be completely removed from the department. The groups held a news conference Sunday morning over Zoom.
Both groups said now is the opportunity to listen to protesters in the streets who are saying “we are done.”
“We are asking and demanding urgent action so that we can move forward as a city, community and as a state to ensure that no other family has to go through what Mr. Brooks’ family has to go through.”
GBI Director Vic Reynolds said it appears the Brooks ran from the officers, but then turned back around and pointed the Taser at them before officers shot him.
“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.”
NAACP leaders cited Brooks’ death, along with several other violent confrontations between Atlanta Police officers and the public, as reasons Shields should resign.
Last month, six APD officers were arrested after video showed a violent confrontation between them and two college students during protests.
NAACP officials said that Shields failed to hold the six officers fully accountable. The officers were criminally charged by District Attorney Paul Howard, which Shields called a political move.
One of those officers, William Sauls, has an open case in Fulton County for the murder of a 26-year-old student, Jamarion Robinson, who was shot 76 times by police in 2016.
Officials also cited the recent arrest of Amber Jackson, who was body-slammed by officers during another recent protest near Lenox Square. Jackson was left with a broken shoulder.
“The Atlanta Police Department continues to terrorize protesters and murder unarmed Black bodies,” the NAACP said. “It’s time for new leadership and a change of policing culture. Stand with us and call for her immediate resignation.”
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