MOURNERS PAY TRIBUTE TO BROOKS AT HISTORIC CHURCH
ATLANTA Around 200 mourners filled the pews of a historic Atlanta church on Tuesday for the funeral of Rayshard Brooks, a Black man who was shot and killed by police outside a fast-food restaurant nearly two weeks ago.
Brooks’ death after being shot twice in the back, with one round piercing his heart, heightened tensions over racism in the United States and police brutality that have raged since the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.
Family and friends attended the invitation-only service at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
While a time for mourning, the church also billed the service as a celebration of Brooks’ life. The Martin Luther King, Sr. Choir performed the gospel anthem “Perfect Peace” before preachers and family called for healing and change.
Some police supporters have called the shooting of Brooks justified, citing video appearing to show him firing a Taser at the officer before being shot. But his death nevertheless set off a wave of protests in Atlanta, breathing new life into demonstrations following Floyd’s death.
The site of the funeral is a testament to the gravity of the moment. Ebenezer Baptist was where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the leader of the Black civil rights movement until his assassination in 1968, once preached and where his body is laid to rest.
Tomika Miller, wife of Rayshard Brooks, holds their one-year-old daughter Dream during Brooks’ funeral in Ebenezer Baptist Church on Tuesday in Atlanta, Ga. Brooks was shot in the back by police nearly two weeks ago.