Demonstrators gathered on Saturday, June 13, on the streets of Atlanta (Georgia state) to protest the police-related death of a black man, Rayshard Brooks, south of downtown. Police reportedly shot Rayshard Brooks on Friday night (local time), June 12, after he fell asleep in his vehicle in a drive-thru, causing customers to drive around him. Reports suggest that Brooks resisted arrest after failing a sobriety test. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations have begun official investigations into the shooting and the city's mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, announced the resignation of the city's police chief on Saturday afternoon. The incident comes amidst weeks of protests and unrest across the United States over racial inequality and police brutality, following the death of George Floyd who was killed in Minneapolis (Minnesota state) on May 25.
Further protests and unrest are likely in Atlanta in the near term. A heightened security presence and associated disruptions should also be anticipated.
George Floyd died while being arrested by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. The four arresting police officers were subsequently fired, and one has since been charged with murder. Black Lives Matter (BLM) supporters gathered on May 26 to denounce the death and actions of the police officers. Clashes ensued between protesters and riot police; with demonstrators throwing bricks and projectiles at police and police property, and police responding with tear gas and rubber bullets as they attempted to disperse the crowds. Protests have since spread to a number of cities across the US.
Individuals in Atlanta are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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