Far-Left Journalist Among Four Charged with Firebombing Police Vehicle Following BLM Protest

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Posted: Dec 29, 2020 11:00 AM
Far-Left Journalist Among Four Charged with Firebombing Police Vehicle Following BLM Protest

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Renea Baek Goddard, a far-left journalist, is among the four people who are facing federal charges for firebombing police vehicles in Little Rock, Arkansas, according to the Department of Justice. 

The criminal complaint alleges Renea Baek Goddard, Emily Nowlin, and Aline Espinosa-Villegas broke into a fenced parking lot at Arkansas State Police Headquarters and set a vehicle on fire. One was vandalized with spray paint, and several others had punctured tires, with investigators discovering "a detonated Molotov cocktail made from a bottle of brandy."

The incident took place after officers arriving for duty at Little Rock Police Department 12th Street Substation on August 26 noticed several police vehicles in their parking lot had punctured tires and two green glass bottles with fluid inside that smelled like gasoline after a BLM protest took place the night before at the substation.

Brittany Dawn Jeffrey was charged after cooperating witnesses stated the Molotov cocktails that were used in the August 25 incident were assembled at Jeffrey’s residence.

The DOJ said they were able to identify the trio through surveillance video, cell data, and witnesses after their firebombing took place on August 28:

"Surveillance video from that incident shows three people entering the vehicle storage area wearing dark clothing and backpacks. The video shows them bending down in a motion consistent with slashing vehicle tires as well as throwing a lighted object into a police vehicle. The Complaint states that witnesses informed law enforcement that Renea Goddard, Emily Nowlin, and Aline Espinosa-Villegas were responsible for the incident. Federal search warrants were executed to obtain the locations of their cell phones, and cell site data confirmed that their cell phones were in the location of Arkansas State Police Headquarters on August 28, 2020."

The Post Millennial reported Goddard had attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and studied mass communication. She interned for the statewide news organization Arkansas Public Media, reported for KUAR Public Radio, and contributed to the LGBT online magazine Autostraddle. The others who were charged also had long histories of being involved in the BLM movement.

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"Today’s arrests send a message that violence targeted toward law enforcement will not be tolerated,” stated U.S. Attorney Hiland. "Breaking into a police compound and firebombing a police vehicle with a homemade explosive device is clearly not a peaceful protest. Those who would target law enforcement with violent acts will not do so in the Eastern District of Arkansas without the full resources of the federal government being deployed to assist our state and local partners in bringing those responsible to justice. They will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

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