featured graphic for Room with a View editorial. Photo of window licensed from Metro Creative Services.

Heartbreak in Atlanta: the shooting of Rayshard Brooks, the torching of Wendy’s

Donut Operator, popular on YouTube, has released a video breakdown of the shooting of Rayshard Brooks by a white Atlanta, Georgia police officer:

The officer who shot Rayshard Brooks three times was fired. The Chief of Police resigned.

And some anonymous scumbag burned down the Wendy’s, which had nothing to do with the incident other than being where Rayshard Brooks fell asleep behind the wheel of his car and blocked the drive-through window.

I am heartbroken that Rayshard Brooks is dead. He “blew” a 0.108. Legally drunk in Georgia is 0.08. But he pulled off the road. My guess is that he wanted a cup of coffee — although that would have merely made him a caffeinated drunk driver. Dangnabbit, where was he when he drank that “margarita-and-a-half,” and why didn’t somebody take his keys away, or drive him home, or offer him the sofa to sleep on?

I am heartbroken that the police officer has been fired, because it sure looks to me (from the slo-mo replay) like Rayshard Brooks deployed the Taser that he had taken from one of the officers. It’s easy from an uninvolved third-party viewpoint to say that the officers should have simply continued a foot pursuit. Too easy. But Tasers carry two charges, and can also be held directly against a target (“drive stun”). Tasers are non-lethal, yes, but incapacitating an officer allows the other party to get his gun.

I am heartbroken that the Wendy’s was torched. It was not “just property.” It was a source of income for the owner/franchisee and its employees. The anonymous scumbag arsonist should be slow-roasted over a judicial fire.

I am heartbroken that Atlanta is set up by media outlets from all directions as a tinderbox ready to blow. No formal collusion between the scumbag arsonist and media outlets may exist, but the unofficial out-of-line shell game played among the arsonist and the media results in real pain beyond financial loss.

Rayshard Brooks, the fired police officer and others at the Atlanta Police Department, and the City of Atlanta will be in my prayers. Even the scumbag arsonist will be included.

Everybody: stay safe, stay healthy, and don’t drive drunk!