MLK Jr. Was Mourned Here. Rayshard Brooks Will Be, Too

Funeral for black man fatally shot by police officer in Wendy's lot takes place Tuesday in Atlanta
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2020 8:01 AM CDT
MLK Jr. Was Mourned Here. Rayshard Brooks Will Be, Too
Tomika Miller walks out of the church, behind the casket of her husband, Rayshard Brooks, following a public viewing at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Monday in Atlanta.   (Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

The Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his very first sermon, served as co-pastor, and was later mourned after his 1968 assassination will also host Tuesday's funeral for Rayshard Brooks, the 27-year-old black man fatally shot by an Atlanta police officer in a Wendy's parking lot earlier this month. ABC News reports the funeral will begin at 1pm ET. The eulogy will be given by the Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, a US Senate candidate who serves as the church's senior pastor. MLK's daughter, the Rev. Bernice A. King, will also speak, per CNN. "Ebenezer is a parish for all people, a sanctuary for those who suffer," Warnock said in a statement. "Rayshard was not a member of our church but he, and his loved ones, are a part of our family."

Hundreds of people showed up at the church Monday for a four-hour public viewing, with the casket arriving in a black-and-white hearse that bore a poster including Brooks' photo and the words "Killed in Atlanta Georgia 2020." "I want him to realize and I want him to see that it could be him," one local who brought his 11-year-old son to the viewing says. "I want him to understand the importance of what we're going through." A family attorney notes that the costs for the memorial are being handled by actor and Atlanta resident Tyler Perry. Brooks is survived by his wife, Tomika Miller, and four children. The funeral will be livestreamed at CBS News. (More Rayshard Brooks stories.)

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