The funeral for Rayshard Brooks will be held today at 1 p.m. at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Brooks died after being shot by a police officer June 12 in the parking lot of a downtown Wendy’s restaurant. He was 27.

» NEW PHOTOS: Rayshard Brooks funeral at Ebenezer Baptist Church

Brooks’ death sparked protests in Atlanta and around the country. Last week, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced criminal charges for the two officers accused in the shooting.


» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Rayshard Brooks case and Atlanta protests

» ALSO: Notable voices remember, mourn Rayshard Brooks

» PHOTOS: More images from Monday's visitation


Just after noon, Brooks’ family members, dressed in white, arrived at the church. At 1 p.m., the family, wearing white masks – or black masks emblazed with Black Lives Matter – filed into the church, while a saxophone player soloed with a mournful, but celebratory processional.

3:12 p.m.: The service has ended and pall bearers are removing the casket from the church.

3:02 p.m.: The church choir is singing to close out the service.

2:48 p.m.: "We demand police reform. We need police reform. God knows we do," Warnock said. "But this is bigger than the police. Police brutality is as predictable as it is tragic. We will always have police brutality as long as we remain a nation committed to mass incarceration."

2:38 p.m.: "Black parents do not really know what to tell their children in order to keep them alive. And that's a problem," Warnock said. "Not just a black problem although it's happening to black people. That's an American problem."

2:28 p.m.: Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer, is delivering the eulogy.

2:18 p.m.:  A video montage of photos of Brooks and his family is being shown.

2:15 p.m.: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is in attendance, along with entertainer T.I. and his wife. Congressman John Lewis sent a letter to the Brooks family, but Rev. Warnock didn't read it. Warnock also noted and thanked Tyler Perry for paying for the funeral.

2:06 p.m.: A niece of Brooks is speaking through tears.

062320 Atlanta: Rev. Dr. Bernice King makes a fist saying “ no justice no peace” while speaking at Rayshard Brooks funeral in Ebenezer Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 in Atlanta. Brooks, 27, died June 12 after being shot by an officer in a Wendy’s parking lot. Brooks’ death sparked protests in Atlanta and around the country. The Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer, said “Rayshard Brooks wasn’t just running from the police. He was running from a system that makes slaves out of people. A system that doesn’t give ordinary people who’ve made mistakes a second chance, a real shot at redemption.”   Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com
062320 Atlanta: Rev. Dr. Bernice King makes a fist saying “ no justice no peace” while speaking at Rayshard Brooks funeral in Ebenezer Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 in Atlanta. Brooks, 27, died June 12 after being shot by an officer in a Wendy’s parking lot. Brooks’ death sparked protests in Atlanta and around the country. The Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer, said “Rayshard Brooks wasn’t just running from the police. He was running from a system that makes slaves out of people. A system that doesn’t give ordinary people who’ve made mistakes a second chance, a real shot at redemption.” Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

1:49 p.m.: Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, is speaking.

“This did not have to happen to Rayshard,” King said. “There are so many ways Friday, June 12, could have ended, and a police killing did not have to be one of them.”

1:45 p.m.: Rochelle Gooden, Brooks's mother-in-law, is speaking.

1:41 p.m.: Brooks' employer in Ohio speaks, telling those in the church he was a hard worker who had overcome circumstances and was turning around his life.

“He told us he was coming back and we believed him,” Ambrea Mikolajczyk said. “Ray made a lasting positive impact on us and our lives. Ray was in the midst of building something big, grand. A life anew. Through Ray’s death, he will save the life of our daughters and sons."

1:28 p.m.: Entertainer Tamala Mann is singing "I can only imagine" followed by "Take me to the king."

1:24 p.m.: Several religious leaders are offering opening remarks and prayers.

1:15 p.m.: The service is also being livestreamed outside of the church. 
Jasmine Navarro and Jayla Jones, both 24, and their organization, the Fight For Our Lives Initiative, came to show their support for the Brooks family. The group had visited the now charred Wendy's on University Avenue shortly after Brooks was shot and killed. An Atlanta native, Navarro said this killing hit home for her and she hopes Atlanta police considers making changes: "I hope that with all of these things going on that Atlanta police listen more to the community."

06/23/2020 - Atlanta, Georgia -  Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard speaks to the press before the start of the funeral service for Rayshard Brooks at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta's Sweet Auburn community, Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
06/23/2020 - Atlanta, Georgia - Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard speaks to the press before the start of the funeral service for Rayshard Brooks at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta's Sweet Auburn community, Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

1:10 p.m.: The service is underway with a choir singing. The church choir, in a pre-recorded, streamed performance to promote social distancing, wore grey shirts and sweaters, while the piano player wore blue rubber gloves.

1 p.m.: The family, wearing white masks – or black masks emblazed with Black Lives Matter – files into the church, while a saxophone player soloed with a mournful, but celebratory processional.

12:30 p.m.: Sandra Stewart, 55, among those gathered outside the church Tuesday, said she identifies strongly with Tomika Miller as a widow.

“The grief never goes away. All I can say is remember all the fun times you had together when he was here.” Stewart, who lives near Ebenezer Baptist Church, plans to stay until the funeral ends.

12:15 p.m.: Brooks' family members, dressed in white, begin arriving at the church.

Though Monday’s viewing was open to the public, the funeral is private and will be by invitation only. The service will be streamed live on the church’s website and on AJC.com.

Hundreds also visited the church Monday afternoon to offer their condolences.

 

Media mogul Tyler Perry previously announced he would pay for the costs of the service, an attorney for the Brooks family said.

A private interment is planned for Brooks.

— Please return to AJC.com for live coverage of the funeral.

062320 Atlanta: The body of Rayshard Brooks arrives for his funeral at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 in Atlanta. Brooks, 27, died June 12 after being shot by an officer in a Wendy’s parking lot. Brooks’ death sparked protests in Atlanta and around the country. The Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer, said “Rayshard Brooks wasn’t just running from the police. He was running from a system that makes slaves out of people. A system that doesn’t give ordinary people who’ve made mistakes a second chance, a real shot at redemption.”   Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com
062320 Atlanta: The body of Rayshard Brooks arrives for his funeral at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 in Atlanta. Brooks, 27, died June 12 after being shot by an officer in a Wendy’s parking lot. Brooks’ death sparked protests in Atlanta and around the country. The Rev. Raphael G. Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer, said “Rayshard Brooks wasn’t just running from the police. He was running from a system that makes slaves out of people. A system that doesn’t give ordinary people who’ve made mistakes a second chance, a real shot at redemption.” Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton