ATLANTA – The Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King announced today the arrest of five suspects in connection with a Hall County fire. The suspects in this case set fire to a police vehicle following a peaceful protest in early June.

The 2018 Ford Explorer belonged to the Gainesville Police Department and was set on fire at 300 Paces Court in Gainesville around 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 2.

Jessie James Smallwood, Judah Coleman Bailey, Delveccho J. Walker, Jr., Dashun Martin, and Bruce Thompson were arrested and indicted on federal charges of Conspiracy to Commit Offense or Defraud the United States and the Storage of Explosive Materials. The suspects are 21, 20, 22, 23, and 22 respectively.

“The right to peacefully protest is fundamental to our democracy,” said Commissioner King. “However, vandalism and the destruction of police property are crimes, plain and simple. As a former police officer, I condemn this activity in the strongest terms, and I am thankful that these suspects have been brought to justice.”

Commissioner King’s Fire Investigations Unit will continue working with the Gainesville Police Department and the FBI in this case.

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The mission of the Office of the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner is to protect Georgia families by providing access to vital insurance products and safe buildings through fair regulation that creates economic opportunities for all Georgians.

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