ATLANTA — A group of protesters marched to the burnt-out Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed Saturday calling for the restaurant to be turned into a peace center.
The group also demanded arrests be made in the death of 8-year-old Secoriea Turner, who was killed on July 4th across the street from the Wendy’s.
The march and rally was dubbed “Take Back the Wendy’s” and started at 2 p.m. in south Atlanta at the The Community Movement Builders center.
NewsChopper 2 was over the scene when about 100 people gathered at the community center before setting off for the Wendy’s.
Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was at the event on University Avenue, where under the blazing sun, they stood and called for justice.
“Black lives matter, so we hate to see any type of violence,” community organizer Jamal Taylor said. “I think it’s important to note that was not done by anyone here because the peace center has always been about peace.”
The now burnt-out Wendy’s was occupied by protesters for weeks following Brooks’ death June 12, but was cleared out this week after Turner was killed by a group of armed men who set up barricades at the site. Police are still searching for the shooters.
Organizers told Washington they wanted the Wendy’s repurposed as an official community center.
“We want to make sure this is recognized as a community space, a community peace center, and not controlled by outside forces. And outside forces include the government,” Taylor said. “That it’s for and maintained by the community.
Earlier this week, police and sanitation crews cleared items outside the fast-food restaurant after demonstrators had spent weeks turning it into a makeshift shrine to Brooks.
Activist Leonard Dungee was at the Wendy’s the night of the Rayshard Brooks shooting. He said that in addition to justice, the only way for the community to heal is to make the property symbolic.
“I’m here to attest that this is a peaceful group of people. They are not here to randomly shoot at people,” Dungee said.
Dungee said that the group has secured financing for the property and are ready and prepared to pay fair market value to buy it.
Activists said they can also finance a new building.
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