The attorney for the family of a black man who was shot dead by a police officer has called out a failing in police training.
Rayshard Brooks, 27, was shot in the parking lot of a Wendy’s in southeast Atlanta Friday night, after he scuffled with officers and allegedly ran away with one of their stun guns, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Less than 24 hours later, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields stepped down from her job.
“‘They’re going to say it’s (a taser) a deadly weapon. And it’s not,” Justin Miller, an attorney representing Brooks’ family, said a press conference Saturday.
“If a taser isn’t a deadly weapon, then it’s not a deadly weapon when I have it, it’s not a deadly weapon when an officer has it, it’s not a deadly weapon when anyone else has it,” Miller said. “When our client has the taser, they’re going to say it was a deadly weapon — and it’s not.”
L. Chris Stewart, who is also representing the family, called out the discrepancy between the responses to the coronavirus and racism, highlighting the huge global effort to find a vaccine for Covid-19, while “nobody” tries to “find a vaccine” for civil rights abuses.
“It’s something that we’re told to wait for — it’ll come. Nobody’s trying to find a vaccine for why officers pull the trigger so quick on African Americans. There’s no flood of money or scientists or top experts or our leadership in this country trying to end this epidemic,” he said.
“I guess that’s because it doesn’t hit close to home for the people that care.”