MOURN­ERS PAY TRIB­UTE TO BROOKS AT HIS­TORIC CHURCH

Calgary Herald - - WORLD -

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.

CUR­TIS COMP­TON / POOL / AFP VIA GETTY IM­AGES

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.

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