After the death of Rayshard Brooks sparked protests in Atlanta last weekend, his widow Tomika Miller asked protesters to remain peaceful at a news conference Monday, saying she wants to “keep his name positive.”
Brooks, 27, died Friday in Atlanta after a confrontation with police over a suspected DUI. Police were called after Brooks was found asleep in a drive-thru, and after allegedly failing a sobriety test, he resisted arrest and took an officer’s taser before being shot by an officer.
His cousin, Tiara Brooks, called for justice at the news conference Monday.
“We’re tired and we are frustrated. Most importantly we’re heartbroken, so we need justice for Rayshard Brooks,” she said according to a Reuters report.
“I can never get my husband back. I can never get my best friend. I can never tell my daughter, ‘oh he’s going to come take you skating, or to 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,” Brooks’ widow Tomika Miller said.
“I’m thankful for everything that everyone is out there doing. I just ask that if you could just keep it as a peaceful protest, that would be wonderful,” she added. “Because we want to keep his name positive.”
“I can never get my husband back. I can never get my best friend… it’s just going to be a long time before I heal. It’s going to be a long time before this family heals,” says Tomika Miller, Rayshard Brooks’ widow, at a news conference in Atlanta. https://t.co/iWRPWS3i8p pic.twitter.com/StTvAu7Q1s
— CNN (@CNN) June 15, 2020
Brooks’ death reignited nationwide Black Lives Matter protests that have been ongoing since the death of George Floyd, a black man who died May 25 after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes. Many protests began peacefully and escalated into violent riots, including Saturday in Atlanta, where protesters burned down the Wendy’s where Brooks died.
The officer who shot Brooks was fired, Atlanta Police Department spokesperson Sgt. John Chafee said according to the New York Times. The second officer who was at the scene has been placed on administrative duty, Chafee said. (RELATED: Six Atlanta Police Officers Charged After Ripping College Students From Car During A Protest)
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned Saturday over the incident.
“Chief Erica Shields has been a solid member of APD for over two decades, and has a deep and abiding love for the people of Atlanta,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement. “And because of her desire that Atlanta be a model of what meaningful reform should look like across this country Chief Shields has offered to immediately step aside as Police Chief so that the city may move forward with urgency and rebuilding the trust so desperately needed throughout our communities.”
“I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force,” Bottoms said according to the New York Times.