Antonio Brown, an Atlanta city councilman who voted to ‘defund the police’ last year, said he had his car stolen in the middle of the afternoon by a group of school-aged children.
The incident took place as Brown, who just joined the mayoral race in Atlanta less than two weeks ago, was meeting with community leaders at a ribbon-cutting ceremony around noontime.
“You don’t immediately think, ‘Oh, these kids are going to steal my car,’” Brown said, noting that one of the children “acted as though he had a gun.”
According to police the car, a Mercedes as described by WSB-TV 2, was stolen by “several males.”
Brown claims, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), that “he held onto the car and was dragged about a block down the road before letting go.”
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Brown is listed by Ballotpedia as non-partisan, but the AJC writes that he “pushes progressive policies.”
He joined six other city council members who voted in support of an ordinance described by Fox News as “to withhold $73 million of the Atlanta Police Department’s budget” last year.
“We need all of Atlanta to call in to every committee and full council meeting to demand we amend the budget and … reallocate $73M of police funds in order to reimagine public safety,” he said in an Instagram post at the time.
“We must stop the business of the city from moving forward until our demands are met.”
The ordinance to defund the police in Atlanta was narrowly defeated.
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Brown called 911 when his car was stolen, then complained that the police took too long to respond to the incident.
“The councilman said it took police 45 minutes to arrive because 911 incorrectly assigned it as low-priority dispatch,” WSB-TV 2 reported.
He defended the kids who stole his vehicle as having engaged in an act of hopelessness and desperation.
“This is a generational poverty issue. These kids, it’s 12:30 in the afternoon. Why aren’t they in school?” he asked, stating he did not intend to press charges.
Brown though, might have a reason for disdain towards law enforcement.
This past July, he was indicted on multiple fraud charges when he allegedly defrauded several financial institutions by taking out loans and making credit card purchases, then claiming he was the victim of identity theft so he could avoid paying them back.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that many American cities are reversing their efforts to ‘defund the police’ due to rising crime.
Minneapolis, where George Floyd, the man killed by former police officer Derek Chauvin and whose death started a wave of anti-police riots across the country, is one such city.
Axios reports that calls to defund the Minneapolis police department “have been drowned out by new calls to throw even more resources at the beleaguered department.”
“A surge in violence in the first half of 2021 has altered the conversation about policing in the city where the national protests against racism and police brutality began,” they write.
On Tuesday, dozens of gunshots rang out at George Floyd Square on the anniversary of his death.
Brown launched his bid for mayor of Atlanta with a platform of “reimagining” policing and public safety.
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