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Rayshard Brooks’ Girlfriend Arrested For Wendy’s Arson, Protesters Demand Release

Atlanta, GA – The woman wanted for starting the fire at the Wendy’s where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was shot was apprehended by members of the U.S. Marshals Service on Tuesday afternoon.

By Tuesday evening, protesters had gathered in front of the jail demanding authorities release the woman believed to have been the dead man’s girlfriend.

An arrest warrant for arson was issued for 29-year-old Natalie White on Saturday for the arson of the fast food restaurant on University Avenue on June 13. 

White’s arrest was a joint effort by multiple law enforcement agencies, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. 

“Good things happen when great law enforcement officers coordinate their efforts and work together to apprehend dangerous suspects who pose a threat to our communities,” the Gwinnett Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Bodycam video showed Brooks mentioned White to police multiple times the night he died while officers were talking to him before they administered the field sobriety test, WXIA reported.

“I just wanted me a burger,” Brooks told the officers.

“But no margaritas at all today?” the officer asked.

“Just a daiquiri,” the driver replied.

“Just a daiquiri?” the officer asked.

“Yes,” Brooks said.

“Alright,” the officer replied in the video.

“For Natalie White,” Brooks continued. “That’s my girlfriend.”

Later in the video, he suggests to the officers that can they let him go and he’ll walk over to his girlfriend’s house nearby, FOX News reported.

“You know, Natalie White, she’s my girlfriend. She left. I said, ‘Baby, I’ll get Wendy’s and then I’ll go back …’” Brooks said in the video.

Atlanta Fire Sergeant Cortez Stafford announced Saturday that an arrest warrant had been issued for a 29-year-old woman of the same name, WXIA reported.

White’s attorney, Drew Findling, told the New York Post that his client was the woman to whom Brooks was referring in the bodycam video. 

“[White and Brooks] were close friends,” Findling confirmed.

However, he declined to discuss specifics “out of respect to the Brooks family who had a funeral today and is grieving the loss of Rayshard Brooks,” the New York Post reported.

“She did know him,” Findling told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “They did have a close relationship.”

Brooks was married to Tomika Miller, with whom he had three children, when he died, TMZ reported.

White has been charged with first degree arson, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Her attorney said his client was not responsible for the fire that burned down the Wendy’s.

Protesters gathered in front of the Fulton County Jail shortly after White was taken into custody on June 23, the same day Brooks was buried.

The group made lots of noise as they demanded that White be released, banging pots and pans and honking horns, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Protesters also projected the phrases “dismantle white supremacy” and “shut it down” on the exterior wall of the facility.

White is one of multiple suspects under investigation for the fire that burned the Wendy’s to the ground the night after Brooks was fatally shot by Atlanta police.

The shooting occurred after officers responded to a call for a man asleep in the Wendy’s drive-thru late on June 12.

Officers administered a field sobriety test and established probable cause to arrest Brooks, but when they went to put the suspect in handcuffs, the previously-calm man attacked them.

Brooks stole Atlanta Police Officer Devin Brosnan’s Taser, tased the officer, and then fled with the weapon in hand.

Former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe pursued Brooks on foot with his own Taser in hand, until Brooks turned back and fired his Taser at Officer Rolfe.

That’s when Officer Rolfe dropped his Taser, drew his pistol, and fatally shot Brooks.

On June 17, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard held a press conference to announce he was charging former Officer Rolfe with murder for the fatal shooting of Brooks after Brooks discharged Officer Brosnan’s Taser at Officer Rolfe.

The district attorney also announced at his press conference on June 17 that Officer Brosnan was facing three felony charges.

But Howard bragged that Officer Brosnan had turned state’s witness to testify against former Officer Rolfe and implied the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) had blessed the charges.

Neither was true.

Officer Brosnan’s attorney quickly announced his client had not agreed to work with the prosecutor against his former fellow officer and the GBI released a statement that said they hadn’t even completed their investigation into the incident.

Don Samuel, one of Officer Brosnan’s attorneys, said that his client’s actions that night had been “exemplary” and that the district attorney’s office hadn’t even bothered to take him up on the offer to review Officer Brosnan’s medical records from after the incident, the New York Post reported.

“Devin ends up taking out his Taser and yelling at him to ‘stop fighting, stop fighting,’” Samuel said. “Mr. Brooks grabbed the Taser from him and shoots… Devin gets shot with the Taser.”

“He then falls over and lands on his head on the pavement and gets a concussion,” the attorney added.

Samuel also disputed the district attorney’s assertions that Officer Brosnan had committed aggravated assault on Brooks after he was shot, the New York Post reported.

At his charging press conference, the district attorney said that Officer Brosnan had stood on Brooks and that former Officer Rolfe had kicked the wounded man after he shot him.

But Samuel said his client, who had just received a concussion, didn’t even realize Brooks was shot when he “put his foot on the arm to make sure he didn’t have access to a weapon.”

“It’s not an assault. It’s a man suffering from a concussion,” the attorney said.

He said his client suffered a number of other injuries that had been documented at the hospital and in pictures.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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