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$500 fine, no jail time for BLM rioters who set Atlanta Wendy’s on fire in 2020
By Belle Carter // Dec 10, 2023

A Fulton County judge issued a $500 fine and no jail time for two out of the three suspects who were charged with setting fire to a Wendy's in Atlanta during a violent Black Lives Matter (BLM) riot back in the summer of 2020.

Chisom Kingston and Natalie White on Thursday pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy to commit arson in the first degree and two counts of first-degree arson. Apart from the fine, each received a sentence of five years of probation and 150 hours of community service to be completed with a nonprofit organization within the first year of probation, as per online court records. They were each sentenced under Georgia's first offender law, which indicates that if they complete their sentences without violating the terms or committing another crime, their records will be wiped clean.

A third suspect, 35-year-old John Wesley Wade, was indicted on the same charges earlier in the year back in January. Wade's case was still pending as he is currently in federal prison in West Virginia after pleading guilty in February 2022 to a separate charge of conspiracy to burn U.S. Postal Service vehicles. The three were arrested within weeks of the fire and in Jan 2022, a Fulton County grand jury indicted them on two counts each of first-degree arson and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree arson.

According to the Blaze, at the time of the indictment, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said, "I think this indictment is particularly important. It sends a message that we are a community that supports protesting. We certainly know it's one of your constitutional rights, but what we do not tolerate is violent protest." Willis added, "It is unacceptable to burn down a building in our community even in the name of a protest." Initially, all three pleaded not guilty and waived their arraignments back in March of 2022.

The fast food restaurant was set ablaze during a protest on June 13, 2020, the night after a police officer fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old African-American man. Atlanta Police Department officer Devin Brosnan was responding to a complaint that Brooks was asleep in a car in a Wendy's restaurant drive-through lane. Reports indicated that the officers calmly conducted field sobriety tests for 30 minutes and questioned Brooks, who admitted to drinking that night. A breathalyzer result showed that his blood-alcohol level was over the legal limit for driving. As the officers began to handcuff Brooks, he pulled away, grabbed an officer's taser, fired it and started to run away. Officer Garrett Rolfe pursued him on foot. Brooks turned and fired the stolen taser again, missing Rolfe. Rolfe drew his handgun and fired three times, striking Brooks twice in his back. He was later transported to the hospital and pronounced dead. (Related: MEDIA LOGIC: Tasers are harmless when black people use them against police, but deadly weapons when police use them against black people.)

Critics: Two-tiered justice system in America is the new norm

Upon learning the news on the decision of the case, critics raised concerns about the United States' two-tiered justice system.

Trending Politics co-owner Collin Rugg posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: "Two rioters who were responsible for burning down the Wendy's in Atlanta during the BLM riots have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson and two counts of first-degree arson. Their punishment? Chisom Kingston and Natalie White will have to pay a $500 fine, 150 hours of community service and five years of probation." He further pointed out: "This is the same Fulton County where Donald Trump was charged with 13 felony counts and is facing a maximum of 76.5 years in prison."

His post earned various reactions such as: "But Jan. 6 protestors get 10 years for pushing over a bike rack. Our 'justice' system is a joke." Another user commented that "unequal justice under the law is the new norm." Right Angle News Network replied to the thread: "We have January 6 protesters sitting in prison cells for 10 years of their lives because they took their grievances to the politicians that you're supposed to whenever you have a problem. And we have people like this who get away with whatever they wanna do. The double standards in this country are disturbing."

On a separate X post, a J6er named Brandon Straka compared the sentence he received to Kingston's and White's. "Chisom Kingston and Natalie White set fire and burned down a Wendy's during the BLM riots in 2020. I stood outside of the Capitol for eight minutes, shooting video. No violence, vandalism, theft, or destruction." But he got three months of house arrest, three years probation, a $5,000 fine, a $500 "restitution payment," 60 hours community service and he served 2.5 days in jail. The court also ordered him mental health therapy sessions.

Check out BlackLiesMatter.news for more stories related to violent BLM riots.

Sources for this article include:

LawEnforcementToday.com

FoxNews.com



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