Media mogul Tyler Perry donated $50,000 worth of Kroger gift cards to the Atlanta Police Department to distribute to the community reeling from the deaths of Rayshard Brooks and Secoreia Turner.
Perry, through his company Tyler Perry Studios, gave 1,000 Kroger gift cards valued at $50 each to police to distribute. The donation was brought to light Thursday when Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms mentioned it in a news briefing.
The police department thanked Perry in a tweet showing photos of officers handing out the gift card to members of the Peoplestown community. On Twitter, police said the gift cards would “help us spread good will (sic) among the community in Zone 3 near the Wendy’s at 125 University Ave.”
Thanks to @TylerPerry for donating $50 @Kroger gift cards to help us spread good will among the community in Zone 3 near the Wendy's at 125 University Ave., which has been the center of many protests & unrest. We must remember that we are #OneAtlanta & must work together to heal. pic.twitter.com/d4ztMhhyzH
The location has been the epicenter of protests since the death of Rayshard Brooks after a confrontation with police outside of the Wendy’s on June 12. The community was rocked less than a month later by the tragic shooting death of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner in a car near the same Wendy’s on July 4. The restaurant, which was burned by protesters, has since been demolished.
Perry’s donation is seen as a step towards alleviating tensions between police and a shell-shocked community. Protests in Atlanta and across the country, including at the site of Brooks’ death, have called for the police to be defunded. After the officers involved were charged in Brooks’ death, more than 170 police officers called out of work sick in a protest nicknamed the Blue Flu.
This isn’t Perry’s only headline-grabbing act of generosity in recent months. He tipped workers at a restaurant $21,000 after ordering takeout, and he’s been acknowledged as the anonymous buyer who paid the grocery bills for people shopping at dozens of Kroger locations during senior and high-risk shopping hours.
Perry also offered to pay the funeral expenses for families of both Brooks and Turner.