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The socialist mayor of South Fulton, Georgia, was arrested Saturday morning and charged with first-degree criminal trespass and burglary.
South Fulton Mayor Khalid Kamau was booked into the Fulton County Jail on Saturday but was released later in the day after posting $11,000 bond, according to Fox News. The mayor reportedly entered a house that he thought was abandoned.
“The City of South Fulton is committed to upholding the law and ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their position, are subject to the same fair and just treatment,” a statement from the City of South Fulton said. “As the investigation is still ongoing, we are unable to provide further details at this time.”
The homeowner reportedly received a notification on his phone saying there had been movement on his property before 7 a.m., according to WSB-TV after reviewing the police report. The homeowner called the police and then approached Kamau as he was allegedly exiting the house and ordered him to “stay put,” the outlet says, to which the mayor replied, “Do you know who the f*** I am? I’m the Mayor, and I’ll wait for my police to get here and see what happens then,” according to the homeowner’s account.
According to WSB, the mayor was on his way to a dog park when he made the stop, and his version of events describes the homeowner telling him, “No motherf***ker, you stay right there,” and threatening to shoot him if he didn’t listen. “Are you going to shoot me while I’m walking away?” the mayor reportedly asked.
Reporters confronted Kamau as he was being escorted by officers, handcuffed, into a police car. When asked why he was on the property, he said he “just wanted to see the house” and apologized to the owners, saying he “thought it was abandoned.”
EXCLUSIVE: As police led South Fulton Mayor Khalid Kamau away in handcuffs, he apologized to his voters for the “negative attention." He's been charged with felony burglary and criminal trespass. @DeidraDukesFOX5 & @ELenzPhotog tracked him down for answers. At 6 on @FOX5Atlanta pic.twitter.com/XYImU6JCYq
— Rob DiRienzo (@RobDiRienzo) July 8, 2023
“I apologize for the negative attention that this is brought to our city,” Kamau told a Fox 5 reporter. “I hope that the spotlight on our city right now will highlight some of the inequities that have been happening.”
When asked if he was guilty of the charges, Kamau said, “I think that’s for the voters to decide.”
The City of South Fulton website describes Kamau as “a college-educated, community activist and Southern, Black, Christian Socialist.” He was sworn in as mayor in January 2022 and had served on the city council since 2017.
“America’s first #BlackLivesMatter organizer elected to public office, Mayor khalid (pronounced cuh-LEED) is leading a generation of young activists from protests to politics,” the city website says.
The website also says Kamau is on a “mission” to make “America’s Blackest City Black. On Purpose,” which means “a city that is not just unapologetic about its demographics, but moving on purpose to be a laboratory for economic, housing and restorative justice policies aimed at improving the lives of African Americans.” The city is 92% black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Councilwoman Natasha Williams-Brown will serve as acting mayor, 11Alive news reports.