Rayshard Brooks in February: Criminal Justice System Treats Us Like ‘Animals’

Four months before he was killed, Rayshard Brooks opened up about his life in an interview with Reconnect, a company that focuses on fighting incarceration and addiction.

In the interview, Brooks says that the justice system treats people like “animals.”

“Some of the system could, you know, look at us as individuals. We do have lives, you know, we’re just a mistake we made. You know, and you know, not not just do us as if we are animals,” Brooks said.

The 27-year-old black male was killed outside a Wendy’s restaurant by an Atlanta police officer on June 12, 2020.

Brooks interview was part of a project by Reconnect to record experiences of those who struggle within the criminal justice system.

Brooks was first pre-cleared during a Skype interview then a representative from Reconnect traveled to Atlanta to interview him.

In the over 40-minute video, Brooks talks about his struggles after a life of incarceration.

“And it’s a hard feeling to stomach. You know, with you going out and you’re trying and by you having this so-called record, you know, it’s… it’s hindering us from going out in public to, you know, you know, try and provide for ourselves as far as getting a job and getting ourselves back on track,” he said.

He said incarceration “hardened” him, but he was not going to give up and “keep going until I make it to where I want to be.”

“It hardened me at a point, you know, to like, hey, you know, I have to have …my …my guard up because the world is cruel. You know, it took me to saying different things. And, you know, in the system, you know, it just just makes you hardened to a point,” Brooks said.

Brooks spent a year in jail.

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