Rayshard Brooks death: Anonymous hacks Atlanta police website after fatal shooting, demands arrest of 2 cops
The hacker group targeted the police departments of Chicago and Minneapolis recently in the wake of George Floyd's death
Internet hacking group Anonymous has hit once again. Days after it hijacked the Chicago Police Department’s radios and played NWA’s ‘Fuck Tha Police’ amid protests over the brutal death of George Floyd, it has targeted the police department of Atlanta following the death of yet another black American, Rayshard Brooks, at the hands of the police. On Sunday (June 14) morning around 8:30, Anonymous came up with a tweet, announcing that it has taken action against the Atlanta law-enforcers for executing Brooks, 27. His death has added fuel to the fire ignited by Floyd’s death last month.
"Anonymous has taken action against Atlanta PD for the execution of #RayshardBrooks. We call for the arrest of the two murderers. No more impunity. #BlackLivesMatter #AtlantaShooting #AtlantaProtest,” the hacker group said in a tweet.
Soon after the announcement, the Atlanta PD’s website appeared offline for the most part of Sunday morning and came back only around 11:30 am.
Brooks was shot dead by officer Garrett Rolffe in a parking lot at a Wendy’s outlet on Friday (June 12) night. It was reported by the investigators that Brooks had a tiff with Rolfe and another officer, Devin Brosnan, before taking one of their tasers and pointing it at Rolfe while fleeing. The latter then shot back at Brooks with his sidearm, killing him. While Rolfe was dismissed from the force the next day, June 13, Brosnan was placed on administrative leave pending an internal probe. Like the Floyd case where a cop pressed his knee against the black man’s neck to leave him gasping for breath, a video of Brooks’ killing also surfaced.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which was probing the shooting, said the confrontation between Brooks and the police officers started after the cops responded to a complaint that a man was sleeping in a car that was blocking the restaurant’s approach lane. The bureau said Brooks failed to field a sobriety test and then took on the officers as they tried to arrest him. The black man was a father of four and celebrated one of his kids’ eighth birthday before meeting his end.
Brooks’ death made an already volatile situation worse as protesters shut down a major Atlanta highway and set fire to a restaurant. The two deaths have been compared and sparked outrage. On Saturday, Atlanta’s police chief Erica Shields quit. Atlanta Mayor Lance Bottoms announced Shields’ resignation at a press conference and sought immediate removal of the officer who fired at Brooks.
During their cyber attack on the police departments of Chicago and Minneapolis, where Floyd died, Anonymous announced its solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protesters “fighting the US oligarchy, fighting the injustice of a massively corrupt racist system that has continued on for generations”.
Atlanta's computer systems have come under attack in the past as well. Two years ago, a ransomware attack cost the city an estimated $2.7 million, as per the Atlanta Journal Constitution.