An Atlanta City Councilman who voted to defund the Atlanta police by $73 million had his car stolen by children in broad daylight on Wednesday. Antonio Brown, who has mayoral aspirations, was at a ribbon-cutting ceremony when four kids got into his car and stole it.
Brown is running his mayoral campaign on a platform of "reimagining public safety." In fact, he does not intend to file charges, citing that the kids likely acted out of desperation, and that some of them were very young. "There was no care for loss of life," he said.
"This is a generational poverty issue," Brown told local news. "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?" he said, according to Fox News.
Atlanta Public Schools closed for the year on Wednesday, May 26, the date the car was stolen. The kids, Brown said, were very young, middle school aged and younger. Brown told police he saw them nearby, but didn't expect them to jump into his car and drive off.
Brown told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution "You don't immediately think 'Oh, these kids are going to steal my car." Brown was in northeast Atlanta at the time of the robbery.
He said he had gotten out of his white Mercedes-Benz coupe with keyless push-to-start ignition to speak with Ben Norman, who is a community organizer. He didn't notice when the car started.
Brown tried to stop the car from driving off, holding on to the car. He was dragged almost a block before he had to let go of the Mercedes and watch the kids drive it off.
"One kid was in the driver’s seat," Brown said. "Ben attempted to open the door to get him out of the car. He fought with Ben. I then engaged and tried to get him out of the car. The three other kids were trying to figure out how to get in the car or stay out of the car. He started to hit on the gas."
"We tried to go there and maybe try to get the kid out of the car. So, I'm like, what do you do to a kid, right?" Ben Norman said. "He had already starting figuring out…I mean they had plans, they knew what they were going to do. He hit the gas and he pulled out, peeled out, and took off."
"As he started to speed up, and I knew that if I had not let go, I knew I probably could have killed myself because he was going so fast, I would have started to tumble. And I would have hurt him," Brown said.
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