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Accused Wendy’s arsonist Natalie White arrested, Brooks mentioned White as ‘girlfriend’

Lawyer confirms woman is same person talked about on bodycam video by Rayshard Brooks before shooting

This image from surveillance video tweeted by Atlanta Fire Rescue shows Natalie White. White has been identified as a suspect in the arson fire on Saturday, June 13, 2020, that burned down the Wendys restaurant, 125 University Ave., in Atlanta, where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by a police officer. (Courtesy of Atlanta Fire Rescue via AP)
This image from surveillance video tweeted by Atlanta Fire Rescue shows Natalie White. White has been identified as a suspect in the arson fire on Saturday, June 13, 2020, that burned down the Wendys restaurant, 125 University Ave., in Atlanta, where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by a police officer. (Courtesy of Atlanta Fire Rescue via AP)

The woman suspected of helping to burn down a Wendy’s restaurant following the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks is scheduled to make her first court appearance Wednesday.

Natalie White’s attorney Drew Findling said his client is the same person Brooks referenced in bodycam video from the June 12 incident in the parking lot of the Atlanta fast-food restaurant.

Brooks identifies a woman named Natalie White as his girlfriend in police bodycam video as officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan talk to him about how much he may have had to drink.

“Natalie White,” Brooks tells police. “She’s my girlfriend. She left off, I said, ‘Babe, I’m gonna get Wendy’s.” Brooks said he had been staying a hotel nearby with White when she dropped him off at a rental car parked at the restaurant.

Findling told Atlanta TV station CBS 46 he would not talk about the extent of their relationship because of what Brooks’ family has been going through. Findling did say his client did not start the fire at the Wendy’s and, he said, video shows her walking up to the building as it is completely in flames.

Atlanta police officers were called to the Wendy’s on June 12 over complaints of a car blocking the drive-thru lane. Officers found Brooks asleep in the vehicle in the lane of traffic.

The officers spoke to Brooks for 40 minutes. Rolfe administered, among other tests, a breathalyzer, which registered that Brooks’ blood alcohol level of .108, slightly above the legal limit of .08.

“I think you’ve had too much to drink to be driving,” Rolfe tells him and then attempts to handcuff Brooks.

Cameras show Brooks struggling with officers before he wrestles away a stun gun. Brooks then begings to run. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Brooks made it just a little way before he allegedly turned towards officers with the stun gun raised and he was shot and killed.

An autopsy found Brooks was shot twice in the back. Rolfe was fired from the police department immediately after the shooting and was charged with felony murder.

Protesters gathered the night after Brooks was killed, breaking the windows in the restaurant before the fire was set. Investigators believe more suspects might be involved with setting the fire.

Brooks’ funeral was held in Atlanta on Tuesday.

Brooks and his wife have three children, 8-year-old Blessing, 2-year-old Memory and 1-year-old Dream. He also has a stepson, 13-year-old Mekai.


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