- AL Reading Service
The public is able to pay their respects to Rayshard Brooks at a public viewing underway in Atlanta. The Black man was shot and killed during an encounter with white police officers earlier this month after he was discovered asleep in a car at a fast-food restaurant.
The viewing, and the private funeral on Tuesday, will be held at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was a co-pastor.
Brooks’ death on June 12 added to the fury and anger already felt by demonstrators protesting against systemic racism and police brutality in Atlanta and across the nation. Many of the protests were prompted by the death of George Floyd in custody of Minneapolis police in May.
The viewing is set to take place from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET on Monday, and is open to the public.
The church is not allowing recordings or photos inside, though a live stream is available.
The funeral service is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
Atlanta-based movie and television mogul Tyler Perry is reported to be covering funeral costs for the family.
As NPR reported over the weekend, Clark Atlanta University has also offered full scholarships for his children — three daughters aged 1, 2 and 8, and a 13-year-old stepson.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard last week announced 11 charges for now-former Atlanta Police Department officer Garrett Rolfe, including felony murder. If convicted, he faces a possible sentence of life without parole or the death penalty.
Officers were called to a Wendy’s after Brooks fell asleep in the restaurant’s drive-through. He interacted with officers for more than a half hour, admitted he had been drinking and performed a sobriety test, which he failed.
Rolfe and another officer, Devin Brosnan, struggled to get handcuffs on Brooks.
Brooks was able to take one of the officers’ stun guns. And as he was running away from the officers, he fired it back at police.
After giving a brief chase, Rolfe used his service weapon and fired.
Brosnan, who remains with APD, is accused of aggravated assault. If convicted, he faces a possible 20-year prison sentence.
Charges were filed earlier this month against six Atlanta officers in a separate incident involving two black young people. Officers used stun guns on the pair driving in their car as the city’s curfew went into effect. Video of the encounter went viral.
Two veteran APD officers were fired over the incident. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the footage of the encounter “was disturbing on many levels.”