The woman accused of starting an arson fire at a Wendy’s in Atlanta following the death of Rayshard Brooks was his girlfriend, according to her lawyer.
The New York Post reports that Natalie White, 29, is the woman that Brooks was referring to when he talked about his “girlfriend” when detained by police on June 12. The encounter resulted in his death.
There were various protests following the police-involved shooting death and the Wendy’s was set on fire in response.
“Solving this arson crime has become a top priority for me,” said Atlanta Fire Chief Randall Slaughter, WSBTV Atlanta reported last week. “The setting of fires is a distraction from the message that the demonstrators and protesters are trying to put forward.”
White turned herself in to the authorities on Tuesday after a warrant was issued for her arrest.
“[White and Brooks] were close friends,” her attorney, Drew Findling, told The Post.
At the time of Brooks’ death, he was married to Tomika Miller with whom he shares three children. A funeral was held for Brooks on Tuesday at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church but Findling did not want to comment further on the relationship between his client and Brooks. He claimed it was “out of respect to the Brooks family who had a funeral today and is grieving the loss of Rayshard Brooks.”
His family and loved ones joined dignitaries celebrating Brooks’ life during the private funeral. Rev. Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke, while Rev. Raphael Warnock, the Senior Pastor of Ebenezer, officiated and did the eulogy.
Brooks, 27, was shot and killed by now-former Atlanta Police Officer Garrett Rolfe on June 12 in a Wendy’s parking lot. Officer Devin Brosnan was present during the shooting and has been placed on administrative leave.
Rolfe was charged with 11 counts including felony murder, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal damage to property, violation of oath, and aggravated assault for kicking Brooks as he lay on the ground. Rolfe faces the possibility of the death penalty.
Brosnan has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of violating his oath of office. He has bonded out of Fulton County police custody while Rolfe remains behind bars.
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