Tyler Perry has offered to pay for the funeral of Rayshard Brooks, the black man killed by a white police officer in Atlanta over the weekend.
“We want to thank and acknowledge Tyler Perry, who we spoke with, who will be taking care of the funeral for the family,” attorney L. Chris Stewart, who represents Brooks’ family, said at a news conference today. “It’s support like that and it’s people who are actually in this community — that love the community, that want healing and families like this to never have to go through something like this — to step forward.”
Perry himself has yet to acknowledge the offer, but the writer-director-producer tweeted a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King that included the late civil rights leader’s quote: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
It’s latest the charitable move by Perry, who surprised elderly shoppers at some Louisiana stores in early April by paying for their groceries amid the coronavirus pandemic. Days earlier, he left a $500 tip for each of the 42 laid-off servers at an Atlanta restaurant.
Brooks, a father of four, was killed late Friday after running away from an altercation with officers outside a Wendy’s restaurant that was captured on multiple cameras. An autopsy revealed that Brooks died from two gunshot wounds to the back.
The incident led to mass protests in the Georgia capital and elsewhere, including the burning of the fast-food restaurant. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned over the weekend, and Garrett Rolfe, the officer who shot Brooks, has been fired. A second officer on the scene was placed on administrative leave. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said he hopes to have a decision by Wednesday as to whether to file charges in the case.
Brooks was 27.
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