The Atlanta Police Department is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who started the fire that destroyed a Wendy’s restaurant in south Atlanta.
The fire was started at Wendy’s on University Avenue on Saturday, June 13, 2020, a day after a Black man, Rayshard Brooks, was shot and killed by a White police officer in the parking of the same location. Police found him asleep at the wheel and allegedly drunk in the drive-thru section of the fast-food restaurant just south of downtown Atlanta.
When officers tried to arrested Brooks after he failed field sobriety tests, he resisted, leading to a struggle where all three men wrestled on the ground. Brooks managed to grab one officer’s stun gun during the scuffle and was running away when he was shot three times by the senior officer in the parking lot.
The officer who fired the fatal shots, Garrett Rolfe, was fired Saturday while the second officer, Devin Bronson, was relegated to administrative duties pending an investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Erika Shields also stepped down as police chief and has been reassigned.
Demonstrations at Wendy’s popped off almost as soon as the news reached the airwaves. On Saturday night, during the second night of demonstrations, someone set fire to the fast-food outlet. Below, the APD listed this individual in the photo as a person of interest, though he or she remains unidentified at press time.
The APD hints on its Facebook page that the person in the photos is a woman while social media users speculate that the individual is a White person, quite possibly a White woman. Other users on the APD’s Facebook page speculated that the can held in the person’s hand could have been the accelerant that started the blaze at Wendy’s.
There is not much more specific information the AFB provided other than the blaze originating in “southwest Atlanta during protests that began Saturday, June 13, and lasted into the morning hours of June 14.”
This has become a common theme at several other protests and marches throughout the country where a non-Black person started fires, destroyed property and defaced building in the name of Black Lives Matter movement.
APD asks that anyone with pertinent information call 404-577-TIPS (8477) or submit information online at https://atlantapolicefoundation.org/programs/crime-stoppers
Flip the page to listen to the video of a protester who believes he sees the person starting the fire that incinerated the Wendy’s store in southwest Atlanta. (WARNING: NSFW)