Staff for Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and the Atlanta Police Department (APD) accused Buckhead City Committee leader Bill White of misinforming the public about alleged corruption and mismanagement practices within their agencies.
White told The Georgia Star News on Friday that several APD sources feed him information and that those sources are reliable. White said he knows those sources’ identities, but he will keep them anonymous.
State Representative Shea Roberts (D-Atlanta), in a Twitter exchange on Friday, dared White to reveal his sources.
White, however, said “the police will continue talking to me as long as I don’t get them fired.”
“I receive calls on a regular basis, if not daily now, from city officials, whether they work in this or that department. I talk regularly with all levels of the APD from officers to chiefs,” White said, adding all of his sources’ stories match up with one another.
“I have spoken to people with stars. I have talked to majors, captains, and lieutenants.”
In an emailed press release this week, Buckhead City Committee members referenced the APD’s arrest of Ali Amin Carter. The press release described Carter as “a long-time Dickens’ city council staffer and his administration’s incoming chief of staff.”
APD officers, the press release went on to say, tried to arrest Carter onboard a plane at an unnamed Atlanta airport on an outstanding felony warrant for terroristic threats. The press release, citing body camera footage, said Carter attempted to use his chief of staff job to influence officers and get himself out of trouble.
In that same press release, White asked how Buckhead residents can trust this mayor to end the city’s massive crime spree. This, when “he can’t even take five minutes to vet his incoming chief of staff with a felony warrant out for his arrest?”
White, citing a high-ranking source, said in the press release that Dickens “instructed APD to lower the bar in a desperate rush to hire more police officers.” White then said this was disgraceful and could allow unqualified officers to patrol city streets.
Dickens’ spokesman Michael Smith told The Star News that the incident in question stems from a warrant out of Douglas County.
“Mayor Dickens has been made aware of the alleged incident,” Smith said.
“While Mr. Carter previously worked for Councilmember Dickens, he is not part of the mayor’s administration and is no longer an employee of the City of Atlanta.”
APD spokeswoman Chata Spikes, meanwhile, said she and her colleagues “don’t want to be dragged into the middle of a misinformation campaign.” She said the APD will not lower police officers’ hiring standards.
“There is no need to lower our standards. In 2021, we hired 122 recruits. This, during a time we were seeing a nationwide decrease in police applications,” Spikes said.
“We fully anticipate surpassing our 2021 numbers and meeting the mayor’s hiring goal for 2022, without making any changes to our hiring standards.”
Atlanta made national headlines last year after FOX News host Tucker Carlson described, in sometimes graphic terms, how crime rates in Buckhead have soared. Carlson also said certain of Atlanta’s politicians incited that violence.
Carlson said Atlanta leaders have made too many inflammatory remarks about Buckhead, which is wealthy. He said district residents have endured that abuse in silence. Buckhead residents account for a fifth of Atlanta’s entire budget, he said. Carlson said Buckhead residents shouldn’t have to “send huge sums of money to a city that hates them.” He blamed former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for motivating hundreds of Atlanta Police Department officers to exit the force.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Andre Dickens” by Andre Dickens. Background Photo “Buckhead City” by Kburkha2. CC BY-SA 4.0.