ATLANTA | “Don’t stop”: the daughter of Martin Luther King urged Tuesday the Americans to continue the protests for racial justice at the funeral of Rayshard Brooks, a young black man shot dead by a white policeman in Atlanta.
“I know the pain of growing up without a father”, has launched Bernice King in the Ebenezer baptist church of this great city of the south, where his father, the leader of the struggle for civil rights, has preached from 1960 until his assassination in 1968.
“Tragically, we are still there,” she regretted to the family of Rayshard Brooks, whose death, on 12 June, has rekindled the anger and anti-racism after that of George Floyd, a middle-aged black asphyxiated by a white policeman in Minneapolis on may 25.
“We are where we are because individuals continue to hide behind their badge, their training, their policies and procedures, rather than recognizing the humanity of the other, and in particular of the lives of black,” said Ms. King.
“No justice, no peace,” she chanted, raised fist, repeating a slogan hammered in all the countries in the last month.
For her, America is at “a turning point”. “If we miss the opportunity, we will meet again on this path that leads to chaos and self-destruction”, she warned, calling for further engagement.
“We can’t stop our protests until our voices are not being heard and our demands of reforms to police satisfied”, she started, before concluding by paraphrasing his father: “the death of Rayshard Brooks will not have been in vain because the justice flow like a torrent inexhaustible”.
The day before, hundreds of people had marched in this church is iconic to the black community, in order to pay a last tribute to the young father of a family who received two bullets in the back while attempting to escape an arrest for intoxication on the public highway.
The author of the fatal shootings, Garrett Rolfe, 27, was arrested and charged for “murder”, and his colleague present at the time of the facts, Devin Brosnan, was placed on bail and indicted for “assault”.
At the funeral, funded by actor Tyler Perry, and interspersed with songs, gospel songs, pastor Raphael Warnock, democratic candidate for a senate seat in the elections held on 3 November, has called on African Americans to express, but also to go massively to the polls.
“If you really want to create fear in the hearts of your opponents, vote like you have never done it until then,” he pleaded.