The family of Rayshard Brooks — a 27-year-old black man who was killed by police last Friday at a Wendy’s in Atlanta — held a memorial service in his honor.
Per TMZ, around 300 to 400 people attended a vigil in Southwest Atlanta to pay their respects to Rayshard, who was fatally shot by white cop Garrett Rolfe after authorities said he had seized a Taser from an officer and allegedly fired it as he ran.
During the event — which was held about 10 minutes from the Wendy’s parking lot where Rayshard lost his life — mourners lit candles and released balloons into the air.
The memorial also featured a touching speech from Rayshard’s cousin, whose name has been spelled by outlets as “Jymaco” and “Gymaco.”
“This one person has this kind of power. This one person brought all of us out here today. This one person had me crying on the news to remember the good stuff about him. If you don’t remember nothing else about today… remember that all of us black people that standing right here, it ain’t no friction. It ain’t nobody disliking nobody. It ain’t nobody angry with nobody,” Rayshard’s cousin exclaimed about Rayshard’s impact.
“My little cousin was a good person. My little cousin was a happy person. My little cousin was an ‘I don’t give a ----. I’m gonna have me some fun’ kind of person,” he continued.
Per the wishes of Rayshard’s widow Tomika Miller — who spoke out about her husband’s death earlier that day at a press conference — the gathering was peaceful.
Though a funeral date has not yet been scheduled, one of the family’s attorneys, L. Chris Stewart, announced at the press conference that Tyler Perry has offered to pay the cost.
On Monday, audio from the Friday night 911 call was released, in which the caller tells the dispatcher that a man who “might be intoxicated” — later identified as Rayshard — was in “the middle of my drive-thru.” Before he was fatally shot, Rayshard was reportedly asleep in his car, which was parked in the Wendy’s drive-thru.
“I tried to wake him up, but he’s parked in the middle of the drive-thru, so I don’t know what’s wrong,” the witness said.
When the dispatcher asked if the man appeared to have any weapons, the caller said, “No, no. I think he’s intoxicated.”
After Rayshard’s death, Rolfe was terminated, while Devin Brosnan, another officer on the scene, was placed on administrative duty. Erika Shields, Atlanta’s police chief, resigned.