11:20 AM PT -- Chris Stewart, the family attorney, hopped on "TMZ Live" and is adamant the way this all unfolded didn't have to end this way. He said, "For it to go to that level, it just wasn't justified." Stewart said he -- along with the Brooks family -- support law enforcement when they do the right thing but he added, "This really shook me."
9:06 AM PT -- Rayshard's family just wrapped up their press conference, and it was incredibly emotional and heartfelt -- with the lasting message being ... we need change.
A few of his cousins came to the mic, and one of them said point-blank that their trust with the police force is utterly broken. She went on to say that the only way to properly heal from this is a conviction -- even though she acknowledged even that wouldn't bring him back.
She also said what a lot of people in the black community have been expressing for weeks now ... "We're tired, guys. And, we're frustrated, but mostly we're heartbroken."
Eventually ... Rayshard's widow, Tomika Miller, stepped up and spoke alongside her and Rayshard's 3 young children -- and she thanked everyone for the outpouring of support. More than that though, she begged any protesters to demonstrate peacefully ... as she wants her deceased husband's name to live on in a positive light.
Last but not least, the family attorney, L. Chris Stewart, made some poignant remarks ... bringing up the fact that some stray bullets had actually struck another vehicle which had a family inside. He called the officer's decision to open fire in a packed parking lot reckless.
He also pointed out, when a bunch of white Americans were recently protesting coronavirus regulations and demanding change, the black community supported them ... as it's their right to do so. He questioned why so many people now find these protests unacceptable.
Stewart did mention one silver lining thus far ... Tyler Perry connected with the fam, and is covering their expenses for Rayshard's funeral. Not at all surprising that he stepped in here.
Rayshard Brooks' family members are talking about his killing in public for the first time since he was gunned down Friday night ... and we're streaming their remarks live.
The Brooks family is coming to the podium in Atlanta, where they'll discuss losing their loved one needlessly and senselessly at the hands of 2 police officers ... one of whom opened fire on Rayshard, shooting him twice in the back, as he attempted to flee arrest in a Wendy's parking lot.
In the body cam footage, you see Rayshard was cooperative with the officers after they found him sleeping in his car. He explained he'd just come from a relative's birthday party where he admitted to having a drink or two ... which led to field sobriety testing, and the cops attempting to arrest him.
Rayshard was begging the officers to let him go and allow him to walk home, which was no more than a few blocks away. The cops refused though, and insisted on taking him in.
As we reported, while wrestling with the officers, Rayshard took one of their tasers -- a non-lethal weapon -- and seemed to point it at them while running away. That's when the cop open fired 3 times. The autopsy results show he was struck twice in the back, and the medical examiner ruled it a homicide.
Atlanta's mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, decried the killing ... and accepted the resignation of the APD Chief of Police in response. One of the officers involved in the shooting, Garrett Rolfe, has been fired ... the other cop was placed on administrative leave.