ATLANTA (AP) – In his final months before he was killed by police outside an Atlanta Wendy’s, Rayshard Brooks didn’t hide his history. In a video interview with the advocacy group Reconnect, Brooks talked openly of his prison time. He described a cycle of job rejection and shame. He talked of a system that takes millions of Americans, many of them Black like him, away from their families and treats them more like animals than individuals. Family and friends say when he died June 12, he was finally gaining firmer footing. He’d been working and taking care of his wife, three daughters and stepson. People describe him as a happy family man, always willing to be silly to make others laugh.
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) – Authorities in Georgia say police fatally shot a carjacking suspect after he shot an officer in the head during a chase north of Atlanta. A Georgia Bureau of Investigation statement says Cobb County officers began chasing 37-year-old Martin Humberto Sanchez Fregoso on Thursday night after a driver reported he stole a car. Authorities allege Fregoso fired toward pursuing officers multiple times before escaping on foot and later shooting an officer in the head. The agency says officers returned fire, striking and killing Fregoso. A Cobb County police spokesman says the wounded officer has been treated and released. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the shooting.
ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia lawmakers say that they’ve scraped up enough money to prevent state agencies from sending employees home for unpaid furlough days this coming year. They also say K-12 school districts should be able to spend savings to avoid teacher furloughs. House and Senate negotiators signed an agreement Tuesday on a final version of Georgia’s 2021 budget, for the year beginning Wednesday. The state will spend $25.9 billion of its own revenue, a 10% cut from what was originally expected. Gov. Brian Kemp is letting lawmakers spend $250 million out of the state’s savings account. Lawmakers are choosing not to raise taxes.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Country artists have long been hesitant to address racial issues, but the rallies over racial injustice this year have become too important for the genre to ignore. Black artists say the industry still needs to do the hard work of addressing the systematic racial barriers that have been entrenched in country music for decades. Country rapper Breland says there’s an audience of country music listeners who believe Black Lives Matter and are ignored by the industry. Singer Rissi Palmer says she dealt with racist language from genre fans after releasing her debut country album in 2007. The genre has historically been marketed to white audiences and reinforced white male artist stereotypes.