12:16 PM PT — Another profound speech was just given by Ebenezer Baptist’s own minister, Raphael Warnock, who said what happened to Rayshard Brooks was just a small piece of a much larger issue in America … namely, mass incarceration, which he likened to modern-day slavery.
The reverend gave a powerful eulogy for Rayshard, in which he invoked the story of Moses telling Pharaoh to let his people go, and how African-Americans are in a similar situation now. Warnock then said police brutality is not the end all be all — he said the criminal justice system at large was the beast that needed to be fed … and police killings were simply a byproduct to that end — the feeding of the machine, if you will.
Warnock then got to Rayshard’s situation itself, noting that the possible reason he might’ve tried running before getting shot was because he himself was on probation … and figured making a run for it would be better than falling right back into the system he’d just escaped.
The reverend then pivoted to the concept of records, saying that people with a record — criminal or otherwise — are often used by God, which the Bible documents well.
Rev. Warnock, like Bernice King, called on people to continue protesting for justice … but also made sure to urge people to make the biggest statement come Nov. 3 — by hitting the voting booths.
Rayshard’s funeral service came to an end shortly thereafter with a prolonged musical performance from the choir … capping an incredibly well put-together event that properly honored the man from start to finish.
11:15 AM PT — Dr. Martin Luther King’s daughter, Bernice King, just delivered a powerful speech at Rayshard’s funeral — this after friends and family delivered remarks as well — and she says his death will NOT be in vain, going on to call on protests for Black Lives Matter to continue until the movement’s demands are met and true justice is achieved.
The reverend began by saying Rayshard did not have to be killed, and that the officers could have simply let him go home. She went on to point other historic dates in history that also fall on June 12 — the day Rayshard was killed — and then connected the dots personally … saying she, too, knew the pain of losing a father to racial violence.
She went on to say that MLK himself said the Brooks family’s struggle was, in fact, everyone in the community’s struggle … and that his word of “No justice, no peace” still rings true even today — even in the city of Atlanta, which she said is considered a black Mecca.
Reverend Bernice then said it clearly … the next step to healing this nation is NOT more diversity or inclusion, it is acknowledging directly that Black Lives Matter — and that a revolution of values is absolutely essential to make things right going forward.
Bernice said that the demonstrations happening should not and will not cease until true equity is reached, and true reform takes place. She also called for reparations and an end to voter suppression — ending by saying righteousness will prevail one way or another.
She received a standing O for her words, which sounded eerily similar to those once spoken by her own dad. Like father, like daughter … no doubt.
Rayshard Brooks is being laid to rest with a home going ceremony in one of Atlanta’s most historic churches … and TMZ is streaming the service live.
The procession is getting underway Tuesday morning at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once served as co-pastor for years. Rayshard’s casket actually arrived at the church on Monday for a public viewing ahead of Tuesday’s funeral service.
His golden casket was brought in by pallbearers wearing “Here 2 Serve” t-shirts. During the viewing, his casket was open, and his widow, Tomika Miller, reached out to touch her husband at one point.
As for Tuesday’s ceremony, it’s meant to be a more private affair with some noteworthy speakers … including MLK’s daughter, Rev. Bernice A. King, as well as Rev. Raphael G. Warnock — the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist, who’s supposed to deliver the eulogy.
On Friday, June 12, Rayshard was approached by two APD officers after he was found asleep in his car and partially blocking the line at Wendy’s drive-thru. After a lot of cordial back-and-forth interaction, for about 30 minutes, the cops tried to handcuff Rayshard place him under arrest.
When Rayshard resisted, a struggle ensued, and he broke free with one of the officers’ tasers … which he pointed back at them as they gave chase. Officer Garrett Rolfe then opened fire and struck Rayshard twice in the back. He also allegedly kicked him after he was down.
Rayshard later died from his injuries — and the Wendy’s where and the officers tussled was burned to the ground the next day as intense protests sprung up in Atlanta.
The Fulton County D.A. announced murder charges against Officer Rolfe. His partner, Devin Brosnan, faces less severe charges … aggravated assault, specifically. Both men have since turned themselves in for booking. Brosnan, for his part, has denied wrongdoing.
If Rolfe is convicted, the death penalty would be on the table for sentencing.
Originally Published — 9:30 AM PT
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