Matt Ryan Comments on Police Brutality and Racism After Rayshard Brooks’ Killing

TAMPA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 29:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons in action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan issued a statement Monday after an Atlanta police officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks on Friday. 

“I spent the weekend trying to wrap my head around the killing of Rayshard Brooks,” Ryan said. “To be completely honest, I can’t. Rayshard Brooks should be alive—end of story. We cannot continue to lose lives due to police brutality.”

Matt Ryan @M_Ryan02

#RayshardBrooks https://t.co/2P7KrYouyt

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said police arrived at a Wendy’s restaurant after receiving a report about a man asleep in a parked car in the drive-thru, per CNN.

The officers said Brooks failed a field sobriety test. He then resisted arrested, and witnesses said he took one officer’s taser. Brooks began running away when one officer fired three shots in his direction.

The Fulton County, Georgia, Medical Examiner’s Office said Brooks was shot twice in the back and ruled his death a homicide.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard questioned the officer’s decision to fire his gun at Brooks.

“He did not seem to present any kind of threat to anyone, and so the fact that it would escalate to his death just seems unreasonable,” Howard said to CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield. “It just seems like this is not the kind of conversation and incident that should have led to someone’s death.”

Brooks’ killing comes amid nationwide protests across the United States against systemic racism and police brutality.

Ryan donated $500,000 to start a GoFundMe called Advancing the Lives (ATL) of the Black Community, with the money eventually going toward local social justice initiatives.

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