Two hundred friends and family members filled an historic Atlanta church on Tuesday to say their final goodbyes to Rayshard Brooks, a Black man who was shot twice in the back by Atlanta police outside of a fast-food restaurant on June 12th.
Masked mourners at the Ebenezer Baptist Church - a place where Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. once preached - spoke of the pattern seen of Black deaths by the hands of police in America.
King’s youngest child, Rev. Dr. Bernice King was at Tuesday's ceremony:
“I am here to stand with you and what feels like an all too familiar moment. Having a father killed when I was only five years of age. My heart deeply grieves. (flash) Rashard Brooks's life matters. And he should have been able to live to enjoy his family and watch his kids grow up into adulthood.”
Hurt and sadness poured out from Brooks’ niece and cousin…
(GABRIEL, NIECE) “Let my uncle’s death stand for love. And as my dad says, let’s stop being horrible people.”
(JYMACO, COUSIN) “He would love on anybody, he would help anybody, he would fight with anybody. He didn’t really care about any of those things. All he wanted to do was smile, crack jokes, dance a little bit….and live”
The Atlanta police officer who shot Brooks, Garrett Rolfe, was fired and charged with murder. A second officer, Devin Brosnan, was placed on administrative duty and charged with aggravated assault.
The city's police chief resigned.
After a service of more than two hours, Brooks' body was escorted out of the church and buried in a nearby graveyard.