The funeral of Rayshard Brooks, the black man who was shot dead during a meeting with police in a fast food restaurant earlier this month, is slated to take place in Atlanta on Tuesday.
Private service is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. ET at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was co-pastor. On Monday, a public visit to Brooks took place at the church.
“Rayshard Brooks was not just running from the police. He was running from a system that makes people slaves. A system that doesn’t give ordinary people who made mistakes a second chance, a real takeover,” the senior pastor of the church, Reverend Raphael Warnock, plans to say in his funeral praise, according to a brief, unless provided to NPR.
Brooks’ murder on June 12 occurred less than three weeks after the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Tensions and anger over systemic racism and police brutality were already brewing as protesters took to the streets of Atlanta and other cities across the country.
At the public hearing on Monday, some mourners paying tribute to Brooks wore shirts marked “Black Lives Matter”, while others stood silently in front of the gold coffin where his body lay.
The scene had many similarities to the one that took place two weeks ago in Houston during the public screening of Floyd. His body was placed in a similar gold coffin.
Floyd, who was also black, was killed when a white Minneapolis policeman, Derek Chauvin, knelt on the neck for several minutes. Chauvin faces a second degree murder charge.
Officers Charged For Brooks Murder
The two police officers involved in the Brooks murder were also charged.
Garrett Rolfe, the officer who shot the deadly shots, was fired from the Atlanta Police Department. Rolfe faces 11 charges, including the crime of murder. If convicted, he risks life without parole or the death penalty.
The other officer, Devin Brosnan, remains at the DPA and faces lower charges.
In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Brosnan described Brooks’ death as “a total tragedy”.
He also told AJC that he was surprised by the district attorney’s decision to charge him with the Brooks murder, but added, “I am always ready to cooperate.” At the same time, he and his lawyer told the newspaper that he had not agreed to testify against Rolfe as a witness.
The officers were called to Wendy’s after Brooks fell asleep while driving. Once on the scene, the video of the meeting published by the APD shows that the agents spoke to Brooks for more than half an hour.
Brooks responded to requests from the police, admitted that he had drunk earlier and performed a sobriety test, which he failed.
While Rolfe and Brosnan then had difficulty getting their hands cuffed, he was able to take one of the officers’ stun guns. And while fleeing from the officers, he shot the police.
After giving a brief chase, Rolfe used his service weapon and fired three shots, two of them hitting and killing Brooks.
Tyler Perry, the Atlanta-based film and television tycoon, is would have covered the funeral costs for the family.