The unarmed Black male shot to death on June 12 by the police left behind his wife and four children. These Georgia business owners are stepping up to help them.
GEORGIA — As restaurants throughout Georgia continue to close shut down indefinitely due to COVID-19, at least two eateries in Atlanta are using their resources to give back to the family of Rayshard Brooks.
On June 19, owners of Slutty Vegan and Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks united to present financial relief to Tomika Miller, the widow of Brooks, and his four children. Brooks and Miller shared three daughters, ages 1, 2 and 8 years old, and a 13-year-old son. All four children will receive a full scholarship to Clark Atlanta University, and they also have life insurance policies. Miller also received a new Ford Escape. Aisha “Pinky” Cole, owner of Slutty Vegan, and Derrick Hayes, owner of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks, presented the generous gifts last week.
Cole, an alum of Clark Atlanta University, said she felt inclined to help Brooks’ family because the fatal shooting could have happened to anyone in her family.
“I saw Rayshard’s wife Tomika’s pain, and my heart led me to want to help her and her children,” Cole said in a statement provided by NPR. “Rayshard Brooks could’ve been my brother, my father, or even my significant other. I wanted to remind her that it takes a village and we are a part of her village.”
Clark Atlanta University President George T. French Jr. said the college scholarships are worth more than $600,000 and cover full tuition, meals, room, and board for all four children.
“It was without hesitation that we made the decision to partner with our notable alumna and entrepreneur Pinky Cole to help the family and children of Mr. Rayshard Brooks,” French said in a statement. “The senseless death of Mr. Brooks will undoubtedly have long-term financial effects on the family and these scholarships will not only provide them with a means to access a world class education, but will help them on their pathway of success.
Yesterday, Republican Georgia Rep. Doug Collins said he wanted an independent prosecutor to handle Brooks’ case. Brooks was fatally shot on June 12 at a Wendy’s parking lot in Atlanta.
“It is time for the district attorney of Fulton County to step aside and to allow the attorney general to appoint an independent prosecutor,” Collins said at a rally to support police at Atlanta Police headquarters.
Officer Garrett Rolfe, responsible for shooting Brooks, is facing 11 charges, including felony murder.