A woman who is purported to be Rayshard Brooks‘ girlfriend has been arrested in connection to the Wendy’s being set on fire during protests over Brooks’ death.
According to CNN, Natalie White has been arrested and now faces charges of first-degree arson. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office announced her arrest in a tweet, saying she was booked into the county jail and the incident is being investigated by the Atlanta Fire Rescue Arson Unit.
A warrant for White’s arrest was issued a couple of days ago with the Atlanta Fire Rescue tweeting that White “has been identified as a suspect in the arson fire that burned down the Wendy’s Restaurant (125 University Ave) on Saturday, June 13th.”
Brooks was shot and killed by an Atlanta police officer in a Wendy’s parking lot on June 12. After failing a sobriety test, Brooks and officers got into a scuffle, which eventually led to Brooks running away. This is when he was shot two times by now-fired police officer Garrett Rolfe.
According to CNN, Rolfe now faces 11 charges for the fatal shooting of Brooks, including felony murder. According to district attorney Paul Howard, Rolfe not only shot Brooks, but he exclaimed, “I got him,” kicked Brooks as he struggled for his life, and failed to give him urgent first aid.
According to body camera footage that the cops released, Brooks tells officers that Natalie White is his girlfriend.
Brooks’ death, which was caught on multiple cameras released to the public, caused protests to erupt throughout Atlanta as demonstrators joined people around the world who are speaking out against police violence. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade are just a few other Black people who died because of the police in just the last few months.
On June 13, during the Atlanta protest, the Wendy’s restaurant where Brooks was shot was set on fire while crowds of protestors watched. White’s attorney, Drew Findling spoke with DailyMail.com on Tuesday and confirmed that White was the woman Brooks referred to as his girlfriend in the body camera footage. Findling explained that White and Brooks were “very close,” however, he declined to give more details about their relationship out of respect to Brooks’ wife, Tomika Miller. Findling also confirmed that White was present at the Wendy’s the night it was set on fire. However, he said that the building was already on fire by the time she was seen leaning into a window.
He insisted that she did not set the fire. “She is absolutely not responsible,” Findling said. Cops have not named any other suspects in connection to the fire.
Meanwhile, Brooks’ private funeral was held on Tuesday afternoon at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached. Brooks’ wife, Tomika, was present at the funeral with their children. A public viewing for Brooks was held the day before on Monday afternoon.