Protesters disrupt Atlanta mayor’s town hall after police killing of an unarmed Black father
TheGrio has launched a special series called #BlackonBlue to examine the relationship between law enforcement and African-Americans. Our reporters and videographers will investigate police brutality and corruption while also exploring local and national efforts to improve policing in our communities. Join the conversation, or share your own story, using the hashtag #BlackonBlue.
On Tuesday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ town hall meeting erupted in protest after activists demanded answers in the police shooting death of 21-year-old Jimmy Atchison.
The unarmed father of two was shot in the face in January.
—Police find bodies of two missing Black men in storage unit—
After Atlanta police Chief Erika Shields took the podium at Cascade United Methodist Church, protestors jumped up and demanded to know why Officer Sung Kim, was still on the job after gunning down Atchison, The AJC reports.
Shields apologized for a lack of communication from the APD but explained she had met with the Mayor and Atchison’s family Monday.
FBI agents were serving a warrant and Atchison was a suspect in an alleged armed robbery of a cellphone, 11Alive previously reported.
Atchison’s family said he was hiding in a closet when police shot him.
“We went to that apartment and confronted the suspect and the suspect fled,” FBI spokesman Kevin Rowson said. “He jumped out of a window of one of the apartments, jumped down a couple of floors … there was a foot chase that ensued into another apartment building where the suspect was shot.”
—Disturbing number of Black men connected to Ferguson protests found dead—
Kim reportedly remains on paid administrative duty.
“We came out not to disrupt, but to bring awareness to a situation that was being ignored by the city,” Protester Dominic Brown, 33 told the outlet.
“It won’t happen under my watch,” she said. “I will fight to the bitter end to make sure people are treated fairly and equitably. You have my word,” Shields assured the crowd.
About 20 protestors were led out of the meeting.