The family of Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man who was fatally shot by Atlanta police on Friday, has spoken about his death for the first time. His family held a press conference on Monday, shortly after a release from the Fulton County medical Examiner's Office listed his official cause of death as gunshot wounds to the back. The autopsy determined the manner of death was homicide.
During the press conference, his widow Tomika Miller thanked everyone for their support during the difficult time, but urged protesters to remain peaceful.
"I just ask that if you could just keep it as a peaceful protest that would be wonderful, because we want to keep his name positive and great." Miller said. She added, "There is no justice that can ever make me feel happy about what's been done. I can never get my husband back. I can never get my best friend. I can never tell my daughter, 'Oh, he's coming to take you skating or swimming lessons.' So, this is going to be a long time before I heal. It's going to be a long time before this family heals."
His cousin Tiara Brooks told reporters, "We're tired and we are frustrated. Most importantly we're hearbtorken, so we need justice for Rayshard Brooks."
The family's lawyer L. Chris Stewart called the behavior of the officers involved reckless. He also said Tyler Perry has been speaking with Brooks' family and that he intends to cover the expenses for his funeral, TMZ reports.
The officer from the Atlanta Police Department who fatally shot Brooks was fired on Saturday. Immediately following Brooks' death, protesters took to the streets to demand justice, while a video also showed the Wendy's that Brooks was shot outside of set on fire. It's unclear who was responsible for starting the fire.
The Atlanta PD were called to respond to a complaint that someone had fallen asleep inside his car in a Wendy's drive-thru on Friday. When officers arrived and woke up Brooks, they had a brief conversation with him. The two officers on the scene spoke with him for approximately 30 minutes, at which point they informed him he failed his sobriety test and he was under arrest. A struggle ensued, and both officers told him a Taser would be used if he resisted arrest. He eventually broke free and tried to flee with a Taser he took from one of the officers in his hand. Officer Garrett Wolfe then shot Brooks twice. He died after surgery at a nearby hospital.