Star to pay for funeral of man killed by police

WARNING: Graphic content

Hollywood film mogul Tyler Perry will pay for Rayshard Brooks' funeral, a lawyer for the slain man's family revealed on Monday (local time).

"We do want to acknowledge and thank Tyler Perry, who we spoke with (and) who will be taking care of the funeral for the family," lawyer Chris Stewart said during a press conference in the wake of Brooks' shooting death by an Atalanta policeman last Friday.

"It's support like that and it's people who are actually in this community that love the community that want healing and families like this to never have to go through something like this, to step forward. And we want to thank him for such a generous move," Mr Stewart said.

Brooks, 27, was killed on Friday after a scuffle with police outside of a fast food restaurant in Atlanta.

 

Tomika Miller, the wife of Rayshard Brooks, holds their daughter Memory, 2, during the family press conference in Atlanta. Brooks was killed by an APD officer Friday. Picture: AP
Tomika Miller, the wife of Rayshard Brooks, holds their daughter Memory, 2, during the family press conference in Atlanta. Brooks was killed by an APD officer Friday. Picture: AP

Video of the shooting shows Brooks speaking amicably with police officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan while taking a field sobriety test.

But when the police moved to handcuff him, Brooks gets into a scuffle with the officers and flees - and is shot twice in the back by Rolfe.

Rolfe, 27, was fired the following day and could face a murder charge, prosecutors said on Sunday.

Perry, best known for his Madea franchise, is known for his charitable acts and contributions.

Word of his offer to pay for Brooks' funeral came during a tearful press conference with the slain man's widow, Tomika Miller, his children, and several cousins.

 

 

Writer, producer, and film director Tyler Perry will pay for the funeral of Rayshard Brooks. Picture: Supplied
Writer, producer, and film director Tyler Perry will pay for the funeral of Rayshard Brooks. Picture: Supplied

MURDER OF BROOKS RULED HOMICIDE

It comes as authorities have ruled that the fatal police shooting of Brooks a homicide.

Brooks, 27, died after he was shot twice in the back on Friday, local time, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office said in a statement.

An autopsy concluded that Brooks died from blood loss and damage to internal organs after being shot twice in the back, the Fulton County medical examiner's office said in a press release.

The killing of the 27-year-old as he tried to flee after wrestling with officers and grabbing a Taser has rekindled protests in Atlanta that erupted in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. The Wendy's restaurant where Brooks was shot was burned down over the weekend.

 

 

Screen grab taken from body camera video shows Rayshard Brooks speaking with Officer Garrett Rolfe. Picture: AP
Screen grab taken from body camera video shows Rayshard Brooks speaking with Officer Garrett Rolfe. Picture: AP

 

A demonstration took place on Monday (local time) outside the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta, where Republican leaders returning to work in the legislature after a prolonged coronavirus shutdown pushed back against swift consideration of a slate of changes Democrats want in policing and criminal justice.

Officer Garrett Rolfe, who fired the fatal shots, has been fired, and the other officer at the scene, Devin Brosnan, has been placed on administrative duty. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shield resigned a day after the shooting. Fulton County District lawyer Paul Howard said he hopes to decide by midweek whether to charge either of the officers. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was placed in charge of the investigation.

Brooks was shot late Friday after police were called amid complaints that a car was blocking the drive-through lane. An officer found Brooks asleep in the car, had him move it to a parking space and began a sobriety check.

 

Video from the two officers' body cameras and dash-mounted cameras on their cruisers showed Brooks co-operating for more than 40 minutes, telling them he had had a couple of drinks while celebrating his daughter's birthday and consenting to a breath test.

The video shows Brooks' alcohol level at 0.108 per cent - higher than the legal limit in Georgia. When one of the officers takes Brooks' left wrist and moves to handcuff him, Brooks tries to run and the officers take him to the ground.

As Brooks fights to stand, Brosnan presses a Taser to his leg and threatens to stun him. Brooks grabs the Taser and pulls it away. He struggles to his feet, the Taser in his hand, and starts running.

Officer Garrett Rolfe has been fired following the fatal shooting of Brooks and a second officer has been placed on administrative duty. Picture: Atlanta Police Department via AP
Officer Garrett Rolfe has been fired following the fatal shooting of Brooks and a second officer has been placed on administrative duty. Picture: Atlanta Police Department via AP

Rolfe fires his taser, and a yelp can be heard above the weapon's electric crackle. Rolfe runs after Brooks, and seconds later three gunshots are heard. Both officers' body cameras were knocked to the ground in the struggle, and none of the four police cameras captured the shooting. Footage released from a Wendy's security camera showed Brooks turn and point an object at one of the officers, who was steps behind him.

The officer draws his gun and fires. "As I pursued him, he turned and started firing the taser at me," Rolfe told a supervisor after the shooting in a videotaped conversation. "He definitely did shoot it at me at least once."

The Brooks family's lawyer noted on US TV on Monday (local time) that Brooks was shot from a distance, carrying what the officers knew to be a nonlethal weapon, and couldn't have gotten away, since they had his driver's license.

"They could have easily waited and caught him later or let or let him be blocked in by the officer who was responding. It was just unnecessary," L. Chris Stewart said.

MAN CHATTED WITH POLICE BEFORE DEATH

Bodycam footage of Brooks chatting with police about his daughter's birthday just seconds before he was gunned down after stealing a Taser has emerged.

In the vision, Brooks can be seen slurring his words as he spoke to lead officer Rolfe and his colleague, Devin Brosnan, outside a Wendy's restaurant - one later torched in protests over the deadly police arrest, according to the New York Post.

"I just had a few drinks, that's it … It was my daughter's birthday," Brooks told Rolfe, adding that he had been "intent to have a good time".

"I can walk home. I just don't want to be in violation of anything," he told them in the calm, friendly-sounding exchange, hoping to avoid a drunk-driving arrest.

"I don't wanna refuse anything."

The interaction only turned when the officers went to cuff Brooks - who immediately struggled and tried to flee, the footage makes clear.

"Drop the Taser! Stop fighting!" the officers shouted at Brooks, who was seen in other footage appearing to fire the Taser as he tried to run away.

A series of gunshots then rang out - with a short pause before onlookers immediately expressed outrage at the deadly shooting of a black man by white cops.

"You murderer! What the f - k!" one man could be heard shouting amid unintelligible screaming and shouting.

"You f - ing shoot him? That's totally unnecessary," someone shouted at the officers, while another man said, "Man, that's messed up."

Rolfe - a seven-year veteran of the force - was fired and Brosnan, who joined in September 2018, was put on administrative leave, officials confirmed late Saturday.

This screen grab taken from dashboard camera video shows Rayshard Brooks, left, and Officer Garrett Rolfe pointing tasers at one another. Picture: Atlanta Police Department/AP
This screen grab taken from dashboard camera video shows Rayshard Brooks, left, and Officer Garrett Rolfe pointing tasers at one another. Picture: Atlanta Police Department/AP

It followed calls from Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who had insisted the shooting was not a "justified use of deadly force."

The officers' boss, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, also resigned over the fatal incident, citing a "deep and abiding love for this City and this department."

It comes as Brooks' family alleges that the police officers collected their shell casings rather than giving first aid to Rayshard - and waited more than two minutes before even checking his pulse, a lawyer for Brooks' family claims.

Witnesses said that "the officers went and put on plastic gloves and picked up their shell casings after they killed him - before rendering aid," lawyer L. Chris Stewart said at a press conference on Saturday, a day after Brooks was shot dead.

"They appear to be caring more about covering their tracks than providing aid".

 

BRITISH COURT JAILS MAN WHO URINATED ON POLICE MEMORIAL

 

A British court has jailed for two weeks a football fan who urinated next to a terror attack memorial during clashes between far-right protesters and the London police.

Andrew Banks, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of outraging public decency for urinating by the side of a plaque dedicated to Keith Palmer, a police officer killed in the 2017 Westminster Bridge attack outside parliament.

The incident, first captured on social media, came during clashes involving self-styled "patriots" backed by far-right groups who had gathered Saturday to counter anti-racism protesters in central London and "protect" public statues.

In this court artist sketch, Andrew Banks, 28, appears at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in central London, where he pleaded guilty to one count of outraging public decency. Picture: Elizabeth Cook/PA via AP
In this court artist sketch, Andrew Banks, 28, appears at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in central London, where he pleaded guilty to one count of outraging public decency. Picture: Elizabeth Cook/PA via AP

Prosecutor Michael Mallon said Banks, a Tottenham Hotspur supporter, showed up after drinking 16 pints of beer from Friday night into Saturday morning and going without sleep.

Judge Emma Arthbuthnot, sitting at Westminster Magistrates' Court, told the defendant the incident had caused "public revulsion".

"The irony is rather than protecting the monuments you almost urinated on one. That was more by luck than judgment," she added.

"You showed no respect at the time for a man killed while protecting the Houses of Parliament."

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The incident caused global outrage. Picture: Thabo Jaiyesimi/Alamy Live News
The incident caused global outrage. Picture: Thabo Jaiyesimi/Alamy Live News

The image of him urinating created an uproar and drew condemnation from members of parliament, including one who tried to save the officer's life by giving first aid.

Banks contacted the police after being recognised and confronted by his father, the court was told.

He was "ashamed of his actions", his lawyer Stuart Harris said. While off duty and unarmed, Palmer died while stopping a knife-wilding assailant from entering parliament during the attack, when an assailant drove a car into pedestrians on the pavement.

Khalid Masood, a British Muslim convert, killed Palmer and four pedestrians, and injured around 50 people. The attack ended when police shot the 52-year-old dead

 

Originally published as Star to pay for funeral of man killed by police



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