A video appearing to show a white woman contributing to the fire that burned down a Wendy’s has begun circulating across social media.
Protesters took to the streets in Atlanta Saturday night after a police officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, a Black man, after he fell asleep in his car at a Wendy’s drive-thru on Friday. During the protests, the Wendy’s where he was killed was burned to the ground.
Several media outlets quickly assumed that protesters were responsible for burning down the fast-food restaurant, as did a number of folks online, making a point to decry the destruction of property rather than focus on the killing of yet another Black man by police.
However, video recorded by @ImKingFola from the parking lot of the restaurant appears to show a white woman adding literal fuel to the fire as the Wendy’s is in the early stages of burning.
“I had to get this footage cause the media will make it seem like we burned this shit down,” he wrote.
As protests against police brutality have continued across the country over the past several weeks, they’ve sparked ongoing debates as to whether the property damage and violence that happened simultaneously was being caused by protesters, police, or outside agitators looking to increase tensions and cast a negative light on the Black Lives Matter movement.
But video evidence, like the footage above, has appeared to show that police and white people who don’t appear connected to any protest groups were responsible for inciting specific incidents of chaos on numerous occasions.
@ImKingFola’s recording of the Wendy’s fire gained traction online, as many called it proof that Black protesters weren’t the ones who set the fire.
Atlanta police have released photos of the woman they believe was responsible for setting the fire and linked to @ImKingFola’s video for reference. Their photos show a woman dressed head to toe in black, with her identity obscured by a hat and a face mask.
According to CNN, at least 36 protestors were arrested on Saturday night. Shortly before midnight, it was announced that the officer who shot and killed Brooks, Garrett Rolfe, had been fired from the force. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields announced her resignation earlier that day.