Celebrities call for justice after Rayshard Brooks' death at the hands of police in Atlanta

"To those judging #RayshardBrooks because he fought and ran: Maybe he decided to fight and run because he knew that complying wouldn't necessarily guarantee his safety," Ava DuVernay wrote.

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By Gwen Aviles

Celebrities are expressing outrage and calling for justice over the death of Rayshard Brooks, who was fatally shot by an Atlanta police officer Friday.

"He was a dad. He was going home to his daughter to celebrate her birthday. She already had her dress picked out," "Pose" creator and executive producer Steven Canals tweeted. "The day before he'd taken her to get her nails done & played games at an arcade. He was a working dad. He just wanted to go home to his family."

Brooks, 27, died after he was shot twice in the back by police outside a Wendy's restaurant. Following his death, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields resigned, saying in a statement that "it is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve."

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Garrett Rolfe, the officer who shot Brooks, was fired. Devin Brosnan, another officer who was with Rolfe when Brooks died, was placed on administrative duty. Authorities ruled Sunday that Brooks' death was a homicide.

"RIP RAYSHARD BROOKS getting shot and killed by the police in the state we grew up in for NO REASON. why is this continuing to happen?? ... we will fight for you!!" R&B duo Chloe and Halle Bailey tweeted.

Kim Kardashian West wrote: "Justice for the Murder of Rayshard Brooks. Please sign this petition to spread awareness for the murder of Rayshard Brooks."

The petition calls for people to continue protesting and spreading awareness about Brooks' death and emphasizes that "Struggling with police is NOT punishable by death."

Award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay shared a similar message in response to those who were more focused on Brooks' struggle with the police leading up to his death, which was captured on video, than on the fact that he was fatally shot.

"To those judging #RayshardBrooks because he fought and ran: Maybe he decided to fight and run because he knew that complying wouldn't necessarily guarantee his safety," DuVernay tweeted. "Maybe he thought he was fighting for his life. Maybe."

The rapper Megan Thee Stallion wrote alongside a portrait of Brooks: "Falling asleep in a Wendy's drive through is NOT punishable by death. When we start cutting tf up I don't wanna hear what's not acceptable on our part ... #justiceforrayshard #rayshardbrooks."

Justin Timberlake also honored Brooks with an Instagram post that included a picture of Brooks holding one of his daughters.

"As a dad, this photo hurts. #RayshardBrooks was a father of three girls... 1, 2, and 8 years old. He should not be dead," Timberlake wrote. "The system needs to change... it has repeatedly shown us that Black people in America are not safe."

Rayshard Brooks in an undated photo.Stewart Trial Attorneys

Timberlake connected Brooks' death, which occurred amid widespread protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, with the recent deaths of several other Black people, including Riah Milton and Dominique Fells, two transgender Black women whose deaths are being investigated as homicides, and Breonna Taylor, 26, whom police fatally shot after they entered her home while executing a "no-knock" search warrant for drugs.

Beyoncé wrote a letter to Kentucky's attorney general Sunday demanding that the three officers involved in the killing of Taylor be criminally charged.