Atlanta Councilman Antonio Brown’s Mercedes stolen by ‘kids’ while meeting with community
“This is a generational poverty issue," Brown said.
Atlanta City Councilman Antonio Brown, who last year voted to defund the local police, was the victim of car theft following a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a combined Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins store in Atlanta’s Dixie Hills neighborhood.
Brown, a mayoral candidate, said he was on hold with 911 for five minutes before he was able to report his Mercedes stolen by a group of kids, one of them looked to be as young as 7-years-old. He waited nearly an hour for police assistance Wednesday, WSBTV.com reports.
Brown explained to the outlet that while he was outside the store speaking with community leaders, four kids ranging from ages 7 to 11 jacked his vehicle that was parked a few feet away. He tried to stop them from driving off but was dragged for half a block before letting go.
“He started to speed up, and I knew if I had not let go, I could have killed myself because he was going so fast,” the councilman said. “I would start to tumble, and I didn’t want to hurt him.”
It reportedly took police 45 minutes to arrive because Brown’s 911 call was labeled a low-priority dispatch. He does not intend to file charges against the suspects, who police are still working to identify as well as locate the victim’s vehicle.
“This is a generational poverty issue,” Brown told WSB-TV. “These kids, it’s 12:30 in the afternoon. Why aren’t they in school? Why aren’t we enforcing systems to ensure that if they are not in school, they’re in recreational centers?”
An earlier report on theGRIO noted that Brown has filed paperwork allowing him to start raising funds for a run for mayor in Atlanta. The openly gay councilman will join a wide field of candidates expected to emerge after Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that she will not seek re-election.
Brown, who is running on a campaign of “reimagining public safety,” thinks city policies on crime and poverty have been reactionary and not focused on solving real, systemic issues.
“Folks keep blaming the pandemic for the rising crime, but no one talks about the root of the issue that is driven by this systemic poverty that has transpired for so long,” he said earlier this month in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Why are we such a reactive city? When do we start looking towards the future?”
In 2019, Brown, at age 30, became the youngest City Council member elected in Atlanta’s history.
He is currently under federal indictment, accused of lying about his income on applications to obtain loans and credit cards used for personal purchases. The incidents occurred before his run for election to Atlanta City Council.
In a statement to The AJC, Brown said he is “thankful for the three amazing female attorneys who are fighting to prove my innocence. In the meantime, I will continue to fight for the people of Atlanta.”
*theGRIO’s Biba Adams contributed to this report.
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