Police Looking for Two White Women Suspects in Atlanta Wendy’s Arson

A Wendy’s burns following a rally against racial inequality and the police shooting death of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, Ga., June 13, 2020. (Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters)

Atlanta police are looking for two white women who are suspected of starting a fire at the southwest Atlanta Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was shot dead by police.

Atlanta officials on Tuesday released new photos of one of the two suspects at a press conference at a fire station. The photos, from surveillance footage, show a white woman without a face mask wearing a black outfit with a purple sweater tied around her waist and carrying a blue bag and a water bottle. Photos of the other suspect show another white woman wearing all black, including her face mask.

Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, was shot dead by a white police officer on Friday after a Wendy’s employee called officers to complain that Brooks was sleeping in his car, which was blocking the drive-thru. Officer Devin Brosnan arrived, and Brooks showed his license and agreed to move the car. Officer Garrett Rolfe then arrived to test Brooks’s sobriety. Brooks was told he was too intoxicated to drive, and the officers began arresting him, at which point Brooks began a struggle with the officers that ended on the ground. Brooks grabbed a taser from one of the officers as he began to flee, at which point Rolfe fired his gun and shot Brooks in the parking lot of the restaurant.

Protestors expressing anger about Brooks’s death blocked a nearby major interstate after setting fire to the Wendy’s. Demonstrators also set fire to cars parked nearby the fast food restaurant.

About 60 firefighters attempted to put out the fire but were blocked by what officials estimated was hundreds of protesters until law enforcement escorts arrived. Fire Chief Randall Slaughter called the situation “dangerous” and said demonstrators threw projectiles as firefighters attempted to put out the flames.

“We were positioned and ready just in case a fire started, but once we tried to make access and the position became so dangerous for our firefighters, there was no way we were going to allow them to continue to go in and have the possibility of getting hurt themselves,” Slaughter said.

Brooks’s death added fuel to protests across the country against police brutality and racism in the wake of the police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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