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Arrest warrant issued for woman who allegedly set Wendy's in Atlanta on fire

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Rawf8/iStockBy CHRISTINA CARREGA, ABC NEWS

(ATLANTA) — An arrest warrant was issued on Saturday by Atlanta fire officials for a 29-year-old woman accused of setting fire to a Wendy’s restaurant hours after Rayshard Brooks was seen on surveillance video fatally shot by a police officer.

Natalie White was charged with first-degree arson by Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Fire Investigators for torching the Wendy’s on University Avenue on June 13.

The fast-food restaurant was set on fire after 27-year-old Brooks was shot in the back by former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe. The shooting was captured on cameras from the police dash camera, body cameras, bystanders and the restaurant’s surveillance camera.

A 911 call was made by a Wendy’s employee after Brooks fell asleep behind the wheel while in the drive-thru line.

The first responding officer Devin Brosnan woke Brooks up and had him drive the car out of the line.

Brosnan suspected Brooks was intoxicated and called for a field sobriety test, shortly after Rolfe arrived on the scene.

The situation escalated as Brooks resisted arrest, grabbed Brosnan’s stun gun during the scuffle and ran away, the video shows.

Brooks’ Breathalyzer test registered a blood-alcohol level of .108%, above the legal limit of .08%.

Brooks then allegedly pointed the stun gun at Rolfe who, in turn, unholstered his stun gun and service weapon, the video shows. Rolfe opened fired and hit Brooks twice in the back, the video shows.

Protests erupted at the Wendy’s and at some point White allegedly set fire to the building.

The inside of the brick property was destroyed. “This is an ongoing investigation and additional arrests are possible,” fire officials said.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of White or anyone who has information related to this crime is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS or the Arson Tip Line at 1-800-282-5804.

Both Brosnan and Rolfe were fired from the Atlanta Police Department and criminally charged by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.

Rolfe was charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. If convicted of felony murder, Rolfe could face the death penalty, prosecutors said.

Brosnan is facing two charges of violations of oath and a charge of aggravated assault for allegedly standing on Brooks’ shoulder after he was shot by Rolfe, prosecutors said.

 Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Florida sets new record of COVID-19 cases with over 4,000 more

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jganser/iStockBy ELLA TORRES, ABC NEWS

(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — Florida continued to set record-breaking numbers of COVID-19 cases, with an additional 4,049 new cases reported Saturday.

There were an additional 40 Florida resident deaths related to COVID-19, according to the state’s Department of Health.

There are now a total of 93,797 Florida cases with 3,144 deaths related to COVID-19, the Department of Health reported.

On Friday, Florida reported what was then its record-high one-day increase of 3,822 cases.

The day before, the state set its previous daily-increase record of coronavirus cases with 3,207.

Florida is one of 17 states that saw an increase in hospitalizations and one of the other 17 states that saw an increase in a rate of positivity, a measure of how many tests are positive for COVID-19 compared to the amount of tests run.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Trump's executive order was 'missed opportunity' says ABC News contributor

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Alex Wong/Getty ImagesBY: LEIGHTON SCHNEIDER, ABC NEWS

(NEW YORK) — After weeks of protests across the country over police violence, President Trump introduced a series of executive actions this week on police reform. 

The actions include curbing the use of deadly force by police, encouraging a ban on chokeholds, and setting up a database for police departments to share information on officers with a history of misconduct and excessive use of force, so they aren’t rehired elsewhere.  

John Cohen, a former undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security and an ABC News contributor, told ABC News’ Cheri Preston, host of ABC News’ Perspective Podcast, that the actions were a missed opportunity.  

“The president had an opportunity to come out and make a strong statement saying, basically, police are vital to our society and they protect our communities from violence, but the people of this country will not tolerate individuals or police organizations allowing racial bias to influence the decision making of officers or these organizations,” Cohen said. 

Cohen has worked in law enforcement and homeland security for over 30 years. He has also personally been involved in two police shootings.

He says police aren’t trained to shoot to kill, instead, they are trained to shoot to stop someone who is a threat. 

“I’ve been involved in shootings and you teach an officer to aim center mass because that is where you’re going to have the highest likelihood of not only striking the individual, but striking him in a way that stops them from doing whatever action it is that the officer deemed to be the threat. It’s not easy, particularly when you’re in those situations, to aim to hit a hand that may be carrying an item or a leg,” Cohen said. 

Cohen believes changing police training and tactics when it comes to the use of lethal force would be difficult, but he says there is a better way to train officers.  

“Where we have to focus our training is in the area of teaching officers how to, at the initial point of a call, set the tone in that call so it doesn’t escalate. … The key is making sure that an officer approaches a situation, whether it’s responding to a call for service, or an interaction with somebody on the street that the officer initiates, that you handle that call in such a way that it doesn’t escalate to a situation requiring the use of force,” Cohen said.  

He adds improved training could change the outcome of some situations.  

“With a lot of these calls, the officers approached the situation poorly. They allowed it to get out of control, then they use deadly force when deadly force wasn’t necessary. If someone’s running away from you and you’re shooting your gun at them, it doesn’t matter whether you’re aiming for their leg or their back. You shouldn’t be shooting your gun,” Cohen said.   

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Man arrested after threatening to shoot 'everyone' at Black Lives Matter protests: Sheriff

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BlakeDavidTaylor/iStockBy WILLIAM MANSELL and CHRISTINA CARREGA

(NOKOMIS, Fla.) — A 22-year-old Nokomis, Florida, man posted $200,000 bond after he was charged with posting several threatening videos onto his social media accounts with an agenda to shoot everyone at a Black Lives Matter rally.

Quintin Adkins was arrested by Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday after detectives received an anonymous tip on June 11 about his Instagram and Snapchat posts.

Police said Adkins made several videos in which he was brandishing, loading and firing several weapons including at least three assault rifles while threatening to shoot all demonstrators at a Black Lives Matter event.

Adkins, an electrician, was taken into custody and charged with written threats to kill — an amended law following the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland.

“As part of Florida Senate Bill 7026, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act expanded the statute to include threats to ‘conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism.’ It is thanks to the added language that detectives were able to pursue charges in this investigation,” police said in a news release.

Adkins posted $200,000 bond on Friday and is expected back in court for arraignment on July 19, according to online records. Attorney information was not available.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Armed individual arrested at Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond: Police

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carlballou/iStockBy ELLA TORRES, ABC NEWS

(RICHMOND, Va.) — An armed individual was arrested near the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, Virginia, police said Saturday morning.

No shots were fired and the area was deemed secure after being searched, police said.

“The situation at 1805 Monument Avenue has been resolved,” police wrote on Twitter.

Police said one person was in custody, but no further details were released.

The public is now allowed into the area.

Though no details were released about what caused the incident, it comes as the future of the monument plays out in court.

Protesters calling for racial justice across the country have demanded statues of Confederate leaders, like Lee, be taken down.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s order to remove the statue is under an indefinite injection following a judge’s order.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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