Report: Armed protestors in Atlanta create “police free zone” around Wendy’s, “force white people out”

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ATLANTA, GA – On the day of his funeral, near the burned-out shell of the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was killed, armed “protesters” used junk for roadblocks to prevent citizens from going about their lawful business.  The “protesters” are refusing to leave.

One woman told station 11Alive, “they all had guns”. 

She also said they told her they would “shoot her in the back of the head if she did get away”.  Another report said that there was a shooting near the now infamous Wendy’s and a woman was shot in the leg.

After Brooks was killed, protesters were in the parking lot with Black Lives Matter signs and protesting, what they deemed police brutality in the Brooks case.

It appears to have turned from a protest into an armed encampment with sleeping there, selling things and taking myriad selfies.  The police have asked people to avoid the area as the campers have been hostile.  They are asking people to try and find alternate routes until they are able to remove the encampment without escalating the situation.

Reverend Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King spoke at the funeral and said, ‘We are here because individuals continue to hide behind badges and trainings and policies and procedures rather than regarding the humanity of others in general and Black lives specifically,’

Brooks, was shot twice June 12 by Officer Garrett Rolfe after a struggle that happened when Rolfe tried to handcuff him for being drunk and passed out in his car at a Wendy’s drive-thru.

Police and Civilian video showed Brooks snatching a police Taser and firing it at Rolfe while running away.

Officer Rolfe, has been charged with murder and jailed without bail. Another Police Officer, Devin Brosnan, was charged with aggravated assault, accused and is out on bail.

Attorneys for both officers say that their client’s actions were fully justified.

In the midst of the melee, Atlanta’s Interim Police Chief, Rodney Bryant has said, “I want it to be clear, we will not tolerate lawlessness and injustice in this city.”  However; over the weekend, officers responded to a shooting on Friday night at the burnt out Wendy’s, calls of “protesters” smashing a windshield with people in the car near the burnt out Wendy’s and another shooting at that site on Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday, a man and a woman were stopped by the burnt out Wendy’s by armed “protesters” who reached into the car and slapped the man, then broke the window with a rock when he rolled up the window.

MSM is reporting that it is not clear if these incidents are connected to the “protests” over the death of Brooks.

Report: Wendy’s arson suspect was girlfriend of Rayshard Brooks. No comment from his wife.

ATLANTA, GA – The Atlanta Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks, 27, was shot and killed by Atlanta Police on June 12th was set on fire amid protests that began to take place immediately after the news broke of Brook’s death. 

The protests began with several hundred people gathering in the Wendy’s parking lot chanting, “Say his name,” and holding signs high above their heads with, “convict the killer cop” written in bold letters. 

The protest started peaceful, but ended with close to three dozen arrests and the building being set on fire.  The restaurant caught fire after protesters broke the windows and threw fireworks inside of the building. 

The Wendy’s continued to burn as nearly 1,000 people were protesting around the restaurant and surrounding area. 

Cortez Stafford, a spokesperson for the Atlanta Fire Department said:

“The blaze grew because it wasn’t safe to get to the area near the restaurant where the fire began.”

Atlanta Fire Chief Randall Slaughter has said:

“Demonstrators threw bricks and rocks at firefighters as they tried to get to the restaurant; they couldn’t start fighting the fire blaze until it had destroyed the building.”

In addition to protesting around the restaurant, protesters took to the interstate and were blocking the highway, stopping traffic.  The protesters locked arms as they were warned by state troopers that they were violating the law. 

With close to 1,000 people protesting, both the Atlanta Police and Fire Departments are attempting to figure out who or how many people are responsible for starting the fire. 

Fire officials said:

“Several people are suspected of trying to set fires in the restaurant before the blaze finally spread.”

Chief Fire Investigator James Oliver stated:

“There are multiple suspects, but quality photos are only available of two of them.”

Over this past weekend, investigators have issued an arrest warrant for a woman in connection with the fire. 

Natalie White, 29, is a suspect of the arson.  In bodycam video footage that police released last week, Brooks can be heard telling officers that White is his girlfriend. 

However, investigators will not comment on if they are in fact the same woman or if there is any connection at all.  TMZ also reported that Brooks was married to Tomika Miller. 

Crime Stoppers of Atlanta put a post on Facebook offering a reward of $10,000 for information that will lead to the arrest and indictment of the individuals responsible for starting the fire. 

In a briefing, Chief Slaughter described the situation as “dangerous,” saying “people were throwing bricks and other materials as crews worked to try and put out the flames.” 

The State Arson control board is offering an additional $10,000 reward in the case. Anyone with potential information about White’s location or additional tips related to the fire can contact the Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477 or call the Arson Tip Line at 1-800-282-5804. 

Chief Slaughter reminds people of his community:

“Peaceful protests don’t need to be overshadowed by a crime like this.”

While Brooks’ relations possibly start fires, Officer Garrett Rolfe’s blue family is sending a message of their own by calling out sick.

Here’s a recent report from Law Enforcement Today on the subject.

 
Let’s call this the law enforcement version of “Return of the Jedi.”

After the “Empire” struck back this week when the Fulton County (GA) District Attorney returned ridiculous charges against Atlanta police officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan, Atlanta police officers have had enough, and are continuing to call out or refusing to answer calls in the city.

The officers are protesting the decision by embattled Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard to charge Rolfe with eleven felonies, including felony murder for the death of Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old drunk driving criminal who was shot to death on June 17.

 

The Mercury News citing an Associated Press wire said that members of the department “feel abandoned” amid protests across the country demanding the virtual gutting of the criminal justice system in the country.

Interim Chief Rodney Bryant told the AP in an interview that sick calls began Wednesday and have been continuing since, however insists that the city has enough personnel to protect the city. The AP said it wasn’t clear how many officers have called out.

However, Law Enforcement Today was able to obtain a copy of the Atlanta PD roll call assignment sheet for June 19 that was leaked, and it shows that every officer called out with the exception of one lieutenant and one sergeant. The authenticity of the assignment sheet was confirmed by law enforcement sources.

Report: Armed protestors in Atlanta create "police free zone" around Wendy's, "force white people out"
Atlanta Police Assignment Sheet photo FB screenshot

On the sheet, it shows officers marked “S/O” for Sick Out.

On Wednesday, the city tweeted denying that officers were indeed walking off the job and said that staffing levels were fine.

“Earlier suggestions that multiple officers from each zone had walked off the job were inaccurate,” the tweet said.

“The department is experiencing a higher than usual number of call outs with the incoming shift. We have enough resources to maintain operations & remain able to respond to incidents.”

When the same thing happened once again on Thursday, the department once again tweeted saying everything was fine. “Nothing to see here!” they intimated.

“The Atlanta Police Department is able to respond effectively to 911 calls. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have an emergency,” the Atlanta PD tweeted.

However, Atlanta police radio communications, in this case Zone 6, obtained from Broadcastify for June 18 indicated otherwise, with 911 callers being told that they weren’t currently responding to 911 calls “due to personnel issues.”

When suggestion was made to reach out to other zones, the dispatcher said, “Yeah, they’re strapped for units also.”

 

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

Finally on Friday, Bryant acknowledged that officers were continuing to call out sick, according to Fox News.

“Some are angry. Some are fearful. Some are confused on what we do in this space. Some may feel abandoned,” Bryant said of his officers. “But we are there to assure them that we will continue to move forward and get through this.”

Bryant replaced former police chief Erika Shields, who resigned after the Brooks shooting. However, the transition has been problematic as Bryant now deals with a substantial morale issue among his officers, who are now likely afraid to do their jobs, or put themselves in the position where they might have to use deadly physical force.

District Attorney Paul Howard’s decision to charge Rolfe with eleven felonies, including felony murder, a death penalty-eligible crime, no doubt weighs heavily on the minds of not only officers in Atlanta, but throughout Fulton County.

As to Bryant, officers have not expressed confidence in his leadership.

“The officers I’ve spoken to say they have no direction from the new leadership and that’s a concern because they need to know who’s got their back,” said retired DeKalb County Police Major K.D. Johnson to Fox-5 in Atlanta.   

Johnson also said that officers, who have a sense of duty and dedication to the citizens they protect are conflicted about calling out, however they have families to go home to.

“They took an oath, so when you call out sick, your fellow officer is possibly put in danger because he or she will not have the proper backup. So, you’re going to have some officers that are going to go to work, cut are they going to be proactive?” he said.

“When the police officers don’t know what to do, they are just going to sit and do nothing, and the public is going to be at risk.”

Bryant, in trying to show solidarity with his officers wore a blue shirt to work on Thursday as opposed to the traditional white shirt worn by command staff.

“This is the uniform that the men and women of the police department wear, and I felt that it was important that they have an understanding that we are one organization, and we will dress as one organization.”

Atlanta officers had already been dealing with lawless mobs of people since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis last month, having been working shifts of 12 hours or more, Bryant said. They have been yelled at, spit on and had objects thrown at them as well, according to Bryant.

“At some point, people get tired, I recognize that, and physically exhausted,” Bryant said. We will definitely get beyond it, and I’m certain that we will see our sick-outs drop back to normal, average.”

Vince Champion, southeast regional director for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers said that officers in the city had walked off their shifts, called out, or stopped responding to calls because “they feel abandoned, betrayed, used in a political game,” he told the AP.

“What they realized is that the city, meaning the mayor and the police department does not support them,” Champion said.

He also heard from several offices that they fear using any type of force to protect themselves, believing it will get them fired or arrested.

This is especially true with a DA who is clearly bent on distracting from his own ethics issues.

Howard’s decision to prosecute Rolfe, as well as Officer Devin Brosnan has rocked not only the Atlanta police department, but the entire law enforcement community nationwide.

Howard moved to charge the officers even before the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had completed their probe into the shooting. In fact, Bryant said he was shocked at how fast Howard moved to charge the officers, citing the GBI investigation being incomplete.

Rolfe’s attorneys have said that he feared for his life and the safety of others in the area, some of whom were in vehicles at the Wendy’s drive thru where the incident occurred. Rolfe shot Brooks when he turned and fired what was later determined to be a taser at Rolfe.

“Mr. Brooks violently attacked two officers and disarmed one of them. When Mr. Brooks turned and pointed an object at Officer Rolfe, any officer would have reasonably believed that he intended to disarm, disable, or seriously injure him,” the lawyers said in a statement.

Howard, in his press conference indicated that the second officer, Brosnan was cooperating with the prosecution and would testify. However, Amanda Clark Palmer, one of Brosnan’s attorneys denied that, as did another attorney, Don Samuel. 

Unbelievably, Howard said during his press conference that Brooks didn’t pose a threat to the officers and had been “calm, cordial, and really displayed a cooperative nature,” despite the fact that Brooks fought with the officers when they attempted to place him under arrest for DWI.

 

Further, Howard claimed that the Taser was “not a dangerous weapon” just a week or so after he had charged six Atlanta officers for using a Taser on protesters, claiming they were a “deadly weapon.”

 

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