ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — For those who knew Rayshard Brooks, the Celebration of Life service at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church was full of rejoicing and sadness.
“Rayshard took care of his family, like any other young man out here could do,” said his mother-in-law, Rochelle Gooden.
Friends and family spoke to how Brooks’s memory will live on.
“It starts with us, and it ends with us loving each other, so let my uncle’s death make us better people no matter the race,” said Gabriel Martini, a family friend.
“He leaves behind a legacy that many of us as fathers would never get to leave behind,” said Jymaco Brooks, a cousin.
The 27-year old husband and father left behind a wife and four children after he was shot and killed by Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe during an arrest.
Less than three weeks after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Brooks’s death sparked more protests around Atlanta and the nation.
“Black parents do not really know what to tell their children in order to keep them alive, and that’s a problem. That’s not just a Black problem, although it’s happening to Black people. That’s an American problem,” said Reverend Raphael Warnock, the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Speaking from the church where her father Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was pastor, Dr. Bernice King challenged the city.
“The answer is not more diversity and inclusion, it’s now time for Black Lives Matter,” she said.
Warnock says he’s encouraged by the non-violent protests.
“We keep saying America can be better than this and can I tell you keep showing up, keep marching, keep protesting, keep raising your voice, keep raising the issue.”
The two APD officers involved in Brooks shooting death, Rolfe and Devin Brosnan, turned themselves in after warrants were issued for their arrests, with both facing multiple charges. Rolfe was charged with felony murder.