ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Rayshard Brooks family and friends will remember his life in a funeral service on Tuesday, more than a week after the 27-year-old father was shot and killed by an Atlanta police officer.
A public viewing will be held Monday afternoon from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Tuesday’s private service will be held at 1 p.m. ET at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King Jr. served as a co-pastor from 1960 until his assassination in 1968.
King’s daughter, the Rev. Bernice A. King, will speak at Brooks’ funeral. Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church and a Democratic candidate for US Senate, will provide the eulogy.
“Ebenezer is a parish for all people, a sanctuary for those who suffer,” Warnock said in a statement. “Rayshard was not a member of our church but he, and his loved ones, are a part of our family. We seek to embrace them, comfort them and walk beside them in the days ahead.”
Gospel singers Smokie Norful, Tamela Mann and Kurt Carr are expected to perform at Tuesday’s service.
Brooks — a father of 3 young girls and a 13-year-old stepson — died after he was shot on June 12 by an Atlanta police officer, who had responded to a Wendy’s following reports that Brooks was asleep in his car in the drive-through lane.
Brooks failed a sobriety test, and when police tried to handcuff him, an altercation broke out. Brooks took one of the officers’ Tasers, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Video of the incident shows him running as he appears to turn and point the Taser in the direction of one of the officers, Garrett Rolfe, who fired his handgun, striking Brooks twice in the back.
Rolfe has been charged with felony murder and 10 other accounts. A second officer, Devin Brosnan, faces an aggravated assault charge for allegedly standing on Brooks’ shoulders as he lay dying in the parking lot.
Brooks’ death came not long after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked nationwide protests over racial injustice and law enforcement’s relationship with the Black community. The Brooks shooting also prompted the swift resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields.
The charges against the officers have their own apparent consequence: Some Atlanta Police officers have refused to report for work, leading to staffing shortages.
“The explanation for calling out sick varies and includes officers questioning their training, officers being challenged and attacked, and unease about officers seeing their colleague criminally charged so quickly,” the interim police chief, Rodney Bryant, said in a news conference Saturday.
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