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Protesters burn down Wendy’s in Atlanta after cops kill another man

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Death of black man after incident at Wendy's outlet in Atlanta sparks demonstrations

ATLANTA: Protesters in the US shut down a major highway in Atlanta on Saturday and burned down a Wendy's restaurant where a black man was shot dead by police as he tried to escape arrest.

The restaurant was in flames for more than 45 minutes before fire crews arrived to extinguish the blaze, protected by a line of police officers, local television showed. By that time the building, next to a petrol station, was reduced to charred rubble.

Other demonstrators marched onto a highway, Interstate-75, stopping traffic, before police used a line of squad cars to hold them back.

The city's police chief, Ms Erika Shields, resigned earlier on Saturday over the shooting on Friday night of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks, which was captured on video.

The police department has fired the officer who allegedly shot and killed Mr Brooks, police spokesman Carlos Campos said late on Saturday. Another officer involved in the incident was put on administrative leave. Both of the officers are white.

Mr Brooks' death followed weeks of demonstrations in major cities across the US sparked by the death of Mr George Floyd, an African American who died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while detaining him.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she had accepted the prompt resignation of police chief Shields.

"I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force and have called for the immediate termination of the officer," Ms Bottoms said at an afternoon news conference.

Mr Brooks was the father of a young daughter who was celebrating her birthday on Saturday, his lawyers said. There are calls for criminal charges to be filed against the officers.

In a separate development, in Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned "racist thuggery" after far-right protesters clashed in London on Saturday with anti-racist demonstrators and police tried to keep the two sides apart.

Fights broke out between groups outside Waterloo station, with fireworks thrown before police cordoned off some areas. On a nearby bridge, stones were lobbed at police. Sporadic skirmishes continued in parts of the city centre.

"Racist thuggery has no place on our streets," Mr Johnson said on Twitter. "Anyone attacking our police will be met with the full force of the law."

In Japan, thousands of protesters in Tokyo took part in a Black Lives Matter march yesterday, calling for an end to racial discrimination and police abuse. Demonstrators marched through the streets of the capital's Shibuya and Harajuku districts chanting and holding up signs spelling out slogans such as Racism Is A Pandemic and No Justice No Peace. - REUTERS

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