Family of Rayshard Brooks gathers on what would have been his 28th birthday

ATLANTA — The family and friends of Rayshard Brooks held an emotional gathering Sunday on what would have been his 28th birthday.

The group stood near the old Wendy’s on University Avenue to honor Brooks’ memory. They released balloons and had a birthday card for people to sign.

Brooks’ widow Tomika Miller thanked those who came out Sunday and said she wants to continue pushing for police reform.

“I don’t ever want him to be forgotten and I also don’t want other people whose name has been forgotten,” Brooks widow Tomika Miller said. “We need to bring that back up. I didn’t know how much police injustice there was until my husband died.”

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Brooks’ birthday comes just days after Channel 2 Action News learned that Fulton County District Attorney Fanni Willis referred the case to Georgia attorney general.

“I did not think this office could prosecute those cases,” Willis said, noting that her predecessor Paul Howard used video from high-profile cases in political ads.

The Brooks case gained national attention when he was shot and killed during a confrontation with Atlanta police after falling asleep in the drive-thru line at an Atlanta Wendy’s in June.

Officers’ body camera footage showed one of the officers tried to put Brooks in handcuffs, but Brooks struggled, grabbed one of the officers’ Tasers and ran away. Brooks then pointed that Taser back at the officers. That’s when the video showed an officer firing three shots at Brooks, killing the 27-year-old father of three. Two officers were charged in his death.

Miller said she was not aware that Willis had sent the case to the attorney general until after it was reported. She told Channel 2 Action News it has been overwhelming not knowing the next steps in the case.

“Now you have a situation to where we don’t know who is going to deal with my husband’s case and because it’s high profile we have to worry about if someone even wants to put up with this case,” she said.

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