BLM Arsonists Receive No Jail Time, Only $500 Fine
A pair of arsonists who burned down a fast-food restaurant during the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots are only being given a $500 fine and no jail time. Chisom Kingston and Natalie Hanna White pleaded guilty last week to two counts of first-degree arson and one count of conspiracy to commit arson related to an Atlanta-area Wendy’s they torched in June of 2020. The pair were sentenced to five years on probation, 150 hours of community service, and a $500 fine.
Fulton County’s far-left District Attorney Fanni Willis previously said, “It is unacceptable to burn down a building in our community even in the name of a protest,” just a few months before offering the arsonists a plea deal with no jail time. She added, “We certainly know it’s one of your constitutional rights but what we do not tolerate is violent protest.”
On June 12, 2020, police attempted to arrest Rayshard Brooks for exceeding the legal limit on a breathalyzer test, outside the Wendy’s. Brooks then assaulted Atlanta Police Department officer Devan Brosnan, stole his taser, ran, and shot the taser at officer Garrett Rolfe, prompting a defensive reaction from the officer. In August last year, a Georgia special prosecutor determined that Brosnan and Rolfe “acted in accordance with well-established law and were justified in the use of force regarding the situation.”
However, media outlets reported that police had shot an “unarmed black man,” prompting riots from Black Lives Matter (BLM) protestors. The night after Brooks was shot, protestors stormed the Wendy’s and began setting fire to the restaurant and nearby cars. One of the rioters explained, “We burned this one specifically because of what happened here … This goes back to what our mission is, making sure that there is justice served for the person that died over here at this Wendy’s.” White, who was Brooks’s girlfriend, and Kingston were identified by police in video footage of the riot. A third arsonist, John Wesley Wade, was also identified and has pleaded guilty to federal arson charges, having also burned several postal trucks after setting fire to the Wendy’s.
Arielle Del Turco, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, commented to The Washington Stand, “Laws must not be enforced based on ideological trends, and prosecutions must never be determined by what is politically palatable for the Left.” She added, “Some have suggested that by selectively enforcing laws like the FACE Act, the Biden administration is signaling what kind of politically motivated protests will and will not be tolerated. Under Biden, the Department of Justice has brought more than a dozen FACE Act cases, most of them against peaceful pro-life protesters.”
For example, several pro-life protestors were convicted of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in August and were immediately remanded into custody. A total of nine pro-life activists affiliated with the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) group had blockaded a Washington, D.C. abortion facility in 2020, distributing pro-life pamphlets and advocating against the slaughter of the unborn. The PAAU members face up to 11 years in prison. Del Turco noted, “We need to think about what it means for our society when pro-lifers trying to save babies are dealt harsh punishments while leftist rioters face almost no consequences.”
S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.