The family of Rayshard Brooks is not happy to see fake crowdfunding campaigns springing up in his name all over the Internet. After Brooks was killed by Atlanta police on Friday, several GoFundMe pages and other online campaigns have emerged, asking for money to cover the cost of his funeral, legal and investigative fees, or other needs. One of Brooks' cousins, Decatur Redd, told reporters from TMZ that the family is not happy about this.
Redd said that he and his family have been frustrated to see several fraudulent crowdfunding pages floating around social media over the last few days. All of them claim to be directing money to Brooks' friends or family, but they do not appear to have a real connection to the Brooks. Redd has reached out to GoFundMe, asking for these pages to be closed down, but so far he said he has not heard back. He asked the public to focus on the one GoFundMe campaign that the family is truly affiliated with.
At the time of this writing, the Brooks family's true GoFundMe page has gathered just over $131,500, with more donations pouring in by the minute. The total goal is listed as $1 million, and is organized by the family's attorneys. In comparison, the fake pages have drawn in just a couple hundred dollars at most so far.
Brooks is survived by his wife, Tomika Miller, and their four children — 13-year-old Mekai, 8-year-old Blessing, 2-year-old Memory and 1-year-old Dream. The money made by the GoFundMe account will support Miller and the children, according to the description.
The family is calling on the city of Atlanta to charge officer Garrett Rolfe with murder for shooting Brooks. Body camera footage from the scene shows Brooks cooperating with police for about 40 minutes before things got violent. At one point, he even tries to comfort them, saying: "I know you're just doing your job."
When police tried to handcuff Brooks, he grabbed a taser from one of their hands. He then made a run for it, making it now far across the Wendy's parking lot before Rolfe shot him twice in the back. Despite his resistance, many critics — including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms — say that Brooks did not give the cops reason to use deadly force against him.
Redd said that he, too, wants to see Rolfe face murder charges over the shooting. He also admitted that, while he does not condone property destruction such as the burning of the Wendy's by protesters, he did feel some catharsis when he watched the restaurant go up in flames.