Former Georgia police chief says he was fired because he’s white

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A white former Georgia police chief who was fired amid accusations of racial profiling was axed because of his race, he claims in a new lawsuit.

Dwayne Hobbs, the former top cop in Forest Park, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the city in US District Court in Atlanta claiming he was fired in 2018 because he’s white and the Forest Park City Council wanted a black person to head the department.

“The City Council members that terminated Mr. Hobbs did so only after declaring that they wanted to install an African American Chief of Police and ‘move in a different direction,’” the lawsuit claims.

Hobbs, who joined the department as a police officer in 1973, was terminated by a 3-2 vote by council members in October 2018, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The firing came on the same night as city lawmakers were set to approve Hobbs’ retirement package, which included 24 months of severance pay and the renaming of a firearms training facility after him, the lawsuit states.

The package had been already approved by the city’s attorney and manager when the Forest Park City Council “unlawfully terminated” Hobbs, according to the filing, which seeks damages to be determined by a jury.

Hobbs’ replacement, Nathaniel Clark, who took over the department last year after a nationwide search, is black, the Journal-Constitution reported.

Hobbs’ attorney, meanwhile, declined to say Wednesday which council members he suspects said that they wanted to replace Hobbs with a black chief, the newspaper reported.

Council members Dabouze Antoine, Latresa Akins-Well and Kimberly Jones, who are black, voted to fire Hobbs, according to the newspaper.

Hobbs was fired amid accusations of racial profiling in his department, which he denied, WSB-TV reported. An audit a year later found that he told officers to spy on Akins-Well and Antoine because cops suspected them of voter fraud and illegal drug activities, the station reported.

Clark – Hobbs’ replacement — ultimately found no evidence to substantiate the allegations against Akins-Well and Antoine and city officials asked for an investigation into the former chief by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which turned over its findings to the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office in May.

The status of that case was unclear Wednesday, the Journal-Constitution reported.

Forest Park’s mayor, meanwhile, flatly dismissed Hobbs’ claims when reached by the newspaper for comment while refusing to discuss details of the lawsuit.

“But let me be very clear, the allegation is an absolute, complete and utter farce,” Mayor Angelyne Butler said.