An Atlanta City Council member and mayoral candidate who voted to defund the local police department, had his car stolen by a group of youths this week, Fox5 Atlanta reported.
Antonio Brown suggested that “generational poverty” was the root cause of the crime, and lamented that the kids should have been in school.
The Democrat is currently under indictment on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud involving the purchase of a Mercedes C300, as well as a Range Rover.
Brown told Fox5 that four boys, ages 7 to 11-years-old, jumped into his white Mercedes while he was standing outside of it, talking to Ben Norman, another community leader.
“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?” said Norman. “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.”
“One kid was in the driver’s seat,” Brown told the outlet. “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. Ben let go.”
“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,” he added. “And I would have hurt him.”
Police said they found his car a few hours later, but did not say if any arrests were made. Brown said he filed a report with the Atlanta Police Department, but that he didn’t want to press charges, according to the report.
Brown seemed to blame the lack of recreational activities for children, and “generational poverty” for the crime.
“The reality is, it’s extremely unfortunate because, why aren’t they in school? I mean, these are little kids that I would never had thought in a million years would be attempting to steal my vehicle,” he said in a news interview after the car-jacking. “They live in this generational poverty right now.”
He said more officers on the street would not have been able to prevent the car-jacking from happening.
“These are kids that are coming from nothing and they see an opportunity of a Mercedes sitting in front of them,” he explained.
Brown added that the fact that the youths were willing to “risk their lives” to steal his car, “speaks volumes about their economic condition in this city.”
He went on to ask why the parents didn’t have the kids in the city’s recreation centers. “We should be extending the hours of the rec centers in Atlanta to ensure that these kids have something to do rather than walking around in dilapidated property in Atlanta,” the city councilman said.
. #BreakingNews Atlanta City Councilman @AntonioforATL says 4 kids, around 7-11years old, jumped into his car while he was standing outside it & took off. He says he was meeting an investor to talk about developing affordable housing. Police looking for vehicle. His reaction: pic.twitter.com/6OXonkBVqS
— Brittany Edney (@BrittanyEdney) May 26, 2021
Brown clinched the Atlanta City Council District 3 seat in runoff in April of 2019, “becoming the first Black openly LGBTQ person ever elected to the Atlanta City Council,” according to Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund.
The Democrat was one of seven councilmembers who voted to withhold $73 million from Atlanta’s police department budget until Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ administration came up with a plan to reform the city’s police department. The ordinance failed on a 7-8 vote.
The city councilman has been a vocal critic of police, marching in Black Lives Matter protests last summer in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. “No justice, no peace!” Brown chanted through a bullhorn during a June protest.
In July of last year, Brown was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements on a bank loan application.
According to the indictment, he received $60,000 in auto loans for his Mercedes C300 and a Range Rover, and then reported that his ID was stolen to make those purchases so we wouldn’t have to pay for the loans.
Prosecutors said Brown was also indicted for lying on a credit card and a loan application, claiming he made hundreds of thousands of dollars more in yearly income than he did. Investigators said they were able to verify this through his tax returns.
“For years, Antonio Brown allegedly sought to defraud a number of banks and credit card companies by falsely claiming that he was the victim of identity theft,” said Pak. “Brown’s scheme was eventually brought to light, resulting in his indictment by the grand jury.”
“This investigation is another example of the power of partnerships in combating financial fraud and identity theft,” said Tommy D. Coke, Postal Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division. “Postal Inspectors are dedicated to pursuing individuals who seek to defraud for their own financial gain.”
“We are committed to working with our Federal law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those who falsely claim their identity was stolen in an attempt to defraud financial institutions,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General of Social Security. “I thank the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and IRS Criminal Investigation for their efforts in this case, and the United States Attorney’s Office for bringing these charges.”