'This Is Us' star Niles Fitch breaks silence on death of cousin Rayshard Brooks

Alexander Kacala
·2 min read

One of the stars from "This Is Us" is speaking out for the first time publicly on the death of Rayshard Brooks, who was shot to death by police in June.

"I'm from Atlanta and I haven't said anything publicly but my cousin was Rayshard Brooks," Niles Fitch said during an interview on The Mix. "I remember watching the video and I couldn't see who it is or anything and I remember being like damn that's crazy and I was a little numb to it and I kept it moving."

Brooks, 27, was shot in the parking lot of an Atlanta Wendy's after police officers responded to a 911 call that a man who appeared intoxicated was sleeping in his car in the drive-thru. Brooks, the father of three daughters and a stepson, was shot twice in the back as he ran and died at a hospital following surgery. His death was ruled a homicide.

Related video: Powerful farewell at funeral for Rayshard Brooks

Fitch, who plays Randall Pearson as a teenager on the hit NBC drama, said his mother called him later in the day to tell him the victim in the video was his own cousin.

"It really set on me how bad it has been and how desensitized we are," the 19-year-old actor said. "It was a tough time but we got through it, you have to get through it. That is the only thing you can do."

Screening Of NBC's
Screening Of NBC's

Also during the new interview, Fitch spoke out against the protests in Los Angeles.

"The LA protests became a show, for me personally," he said. "A bunch of influencers that I know, that be at parties... saying the n-word, treating black people bad, girls that fetishize Black men now being like 'Black Lives Matter.' It really took the spirit of 'I'm protesting' out of it.'"

But he also added, "They were still getting the message out there, whether they had true intentions or not."

Earlier this year, Fitch made history as Prince Tuma in the Disney+ sci-fi fantasy film "Secret Society of Second-Born Royals." The role made Fitch Disney's first Black, live-action prince.