Politician Who Pushed to Defund the Police Has His Car Stolen During Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony


An Atlanta city councilman and mayoral candidate had his car stolen Wednesday, a year after he pushed to defund the police department.

Councilman Antonio Brown’s 2016 Mercedes 450 was stolen while he was speaking to a local business owner, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

According to the councilman’s Instagram, he had just attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins combination store.

Brown had parked his vehicle and got out to speak to someone in the parking lot when “several males entered his unlocked car and drove away with it,” according to a police report cited by the Journal-Constitution.

Brown told the outlet that the car thieves appeared to be kids and one “acted as though he had a gun.”

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“You don’t immediately think, ‘Oh, these kids are going to steal my car,'” Brown said.

The car has a keyless push-to-start ignition, so the councilman said he didn’t realize it had been started at first.

“He started to go faster and faster,” Brown said of the driver.

The councilman said he held onto his car and was dragged for about a block before he let go.

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“At this time, officers are gathering information on exactly how this happened and working to identify anyone involved in the incident and locate the stolen vehicle,” police said.

Homicides in Atlanta are up 52 percent from this time last year and the number of shootings has increased by over 40 percent.

Brown is running for mayor on a “reimagining” public safety and police safety platform.

Last August, Brown had proposed withholding $73 million of the police budget, The Intercept reported.

Brown argued that holding back the money would give leaders the financial space to talk about what proper police reform would look like.

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“We’ve had so many opportunities to put forth legislation to address the egregious incidents that have occurred in public safety. We’re all responsible for the deaths of these lives,” Brown said at the time.

“This isn’t about pointing fingers. It’s about taking accountability for our collective lack of action … What’s important about this resolution is that it’s no longer about talking about the changes we need to make; it’s about allowing our actions to be a reflection of the things we’re saying.”

The ordinance, which came following several Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the country, was voted down.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith