Black Rayshard Brooks was buried in Atlanta. He died two weeks ago after an argument with the police.
In a church in Atlanta known by Martin Luther King Jr., dozens of people have said goodbye to a black man who was killed by two shots by a white policeman. The funeral speech for Rayshard Brooks was given Tuesday by King’s daughter, Bernice King, in the Ebenezer Baptist Church. “We are here because individuals continue to hide behind badges and training and rules and procedures, instead of seeing the humanity of others and especially the lives of blacks.”
In line with her father’s historical speech, “I have a dream,” she said, Rayshard Brooks’ death would not have been in vain, “because law will flow like water and justice like a mighty stream.”
Some mourners were all dressed in white, others wore T-shirts with a Brooks photo on them or with the slogan “Black Lives Matter”. Almost all of them had protective masks against the coronavirus.
The 27-year-old was shot in the back on June 12 by two shots, which resulted in an autopsy. As could be seen on the police officers’ body cameras, Brooks had an argument with them beforehand, grabbed a shock pistol from the emergency services and fled. The 27-year-old gunman has also been charged with murder, the other policeman with serious physical injury. He is accused of standing on Brooks’ shoulders when he was fighting for his life.
The authorities announced the arrest of another suspect during the funeral service. 29-year-old Natalie W., according to her lawyer, is the same woman that Brooks called the police his girlfriend the night of his death. She is accused of arson.
The case is another that sparked demonstrations against racism and police violence after George Floyd’s death in late May. “Rayshard Brooks is the youngest high-ranking victim in the struggle for justice and the struggle for America’s soul. This is about him, but it’s so much bigger than him,” said the pastor of the church, Raphael Warnock. He read out a long list of black people’s names who had died in police violence in recent years. Among them were Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Philando Castile and George Floyd. “Sadly, we have too much practice with it.”
The deaths of Floyd and Brooks have sparked a wave of protests against racial inequalities. Statues and other confederate symbols have been demolished in several cities, and calls have been made to dismantle police stations or shift funding to social services.