Like many of you, I got up Saturday morning to read of "racial urest" in Atlanta over the killing of a black man by white police officers. I rolled my eyes, and thought "Aw, crap, here we go again".
But, like most Americans, I had deadlines and commitments and got busy living my life. It was Saturday, and we never know what really happened for a couple of days. This morning, over coffee, I had a chance to look into the matter. It seems that Rayshard Brooks, 27, was found asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle in a Wendy's drive-through. Someone called the police and two of Atlanta's finest arrived to investigate.
Before it was over, Brooks was dead. Dead mainly from his own actions. Stacey McCain lays it all down, and you'd do well to read the whole thing. In a nushell, the officers investigated, decided that Brooks was drunk.and placed him under arrest. While being handcuffed, Brooks resisted (Resisting an Officer), scuffled with police (Battery on an Officer), snatched a Taser from one officer's belt (Disarming an Officer), attempted to flee (Resisting Arrest by Flight), then pointed the Taser at an officer (Aggravated Assault on an Officer). He was shot for his trouble. It's regrettable, but Brooks set the conditions for his own death.
Everything I have read says that the officers did everything right. Brooks is dead, and that's sad, but he brought it on himself.
I'm a 37 year veteran of police work. I've had all the training. I have not delved into the minutia of the incident, but in a broad sense have some familiarity with what happened. Because at several points, during my career, it has happened to me. The cops are not at fault here, the training is not at fault here. Brooks made some bad decisions that led to his death. It's regrettable, but it's his own fault.
Of course, the local outrage mob in the neighborhood decided to compound the stupidity and burn down the Wendy's. Arson is still a crime, and I'm sure that the authorities are working to identify the arsonists.
The Chief of Police has resigned in Atlanta, probably out of disgust at the stupidity of the mayor, who has called for the firing of the officers.
The officers did their jobs, and from what I've read, did it in the manner of their training.