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In emotional press conference, family of Rayshard Brooks calls for justice

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Posted at 11:13 AM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 14:16:27-04

Several members of Rayshard Brooks family spoke publicly on Monday morning, making emotional calls for justice following Brooks' death at the hands of police on Friday.

Atlanta police officers shot and killed Brooks Friday during an altercation in which officers attempted to take Brooks into custody for a DUI.

Brooks' wife, Tomika Miller, and several of Brooks' cousins spoke at a press conference in Atlanta on Monday.

"I can never get my husband back," Brooks said. "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 it's just going to be a long time before I heal. It's going to be a long time before this family heals."

"How many protests will it take to ensure that the next victim isn't your cousin, your brother, your uncle, your nephew, your friend, or your companion so that we can finally end the suffering of police excessive force?" said Tiara Brooks, a cousin of Rayshard Brooks. "We are tired. God, we're tired."

"Life shouldn't be this complicated," said Gymaco Brooks, a cousin of Rayshard Brooks, through tears. "Life shouldn't be where we have to feel some type of way, if we see a police or somebody of a different color."

"Me and my uncle are both 27 years of age — 27 years of age," said Chassidy Evans, Rayshard Brooks' niece. "No one walking this green Earth is faced to be shot and killed like trash in the street for falling asleep in a drive-thru. Rayshard has a family who loves him, who would have gladly came and got him so he could be here with us today."

The Brooks family was joined by attorney L. Chris Stewart, who has been representing several other families of black people who have died in police custody in recent weeks.

"Where is the empathy in just letting him walk home? That's what policing is supposed to be, no matter what color you are. But as I said, that's broken. That's gone.," Stewart said.

Officer Garrett Rolfe shot and killed Rayshard Brooks on Friday after one of his colleagues found Brooks asleep in his car in line at a Wendy's drive-thru. Brooks submitted to a sobriety test, which he failed, and then offered to leave his car and walk the few blocks to his home.

Officers then decided to take Brooks into custody. A struggle ensued as they attempted to handcuff him. Brooks later got ahold of one officer's stun gun and fired it in the direction of police as he tried to flee the scene. Rolfe then fired two shots at Brooks, striking him in the back.

Brooks was rushed to a local hospital and died in surgery. A medical examiner has rule Brooks' death a homicide.

The Atlanta Police Department later Rolfe the day after the shooting.