Councilman Brown Accuses Advocate of Homophobic Intent
(APN) ATLANTA — Extraordinary commotion ensued at the Community Development/Human Services Committee Meeting of the Atlanta City Council on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, when Councilman Antonio Brown (District 3) accused a community advocate of homophobic intentions in the advocate’s opposition to renaming Rodney Cook Sr. Park.
The incident has also been reported by WSBTV Channel 2 television news.
Demetrius Myatt, Resident Engagement Manager for the Promise Homes Company, an affordable housing company, spoke against a resolution by Councilman Brown to create a Task Force to consider renaming Rodney Cook Sr. Park.
In his remarks, Myatt addressed Councilman Brown.
“I never thought I would live in a District–and I am a citizen of District 3–where I have a Councilman who didn’t even start voting until two years ago,” Myatt said in his remarks.
Councilman Brown has admitted on the campaign trail that he is brand new to politics and government. Councilman Brown has said he was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and thus had previously believed that politics was evil; and that the first time he voted was in 2017 for Keisha Lance Bottoms.
“I’m going to respond,” Brown said.
“I don’t think so,” Chairwoman Natalyn Archibong (District 5).
Despite not being recognized and being out of order, Councilman Brown launched his attack on Myatt.
“Let me be clear about one thing. You’re the same man who said you wouldn’t vote for me because I was gay. So let’s be clear about your intentions in this community! Because this community is represented by all people!” Brown said.
By that point, audience members began standing up and angrily shouting at Brown, while Myatt insisted that Brown’s statement was untrue.
“And let’s also be clear about one more thing! If Councilman Young wanted to do the right thing, he would have had this legislation, he would have allowed the community to be part of the naming process for Rodney Cook Park!” Brown said.
The late Councilman Ivory Lee Young, Jr. (District 3) passed away in November 2018.
About a dozen audience members stood and continued shouting back at Brown, who then scurried out of the room and came back in.
Councilmembers Marci Overstreet (District 11), Michael Julian Bond (Post 1-at-large), and Matt Westmoreland (Post 2-at-large) walked over to Brown and escorted him back out of the room, presumably encouraging him to cool down.
In an interview with Atlanta Progressive News, Myatt denied ever speaking to Mr. Brown about his sexual orientation.
“I have never said that. I go fully on the record that we are all God’s children, I have no hate for anyone,” Myatt said.
“That is the furthest thing from the truth. I have gay friends, gay relatives, I go to church with gay people. It was very hurtful. I am very concerned because it was a public attack on my character and a public attack on my reputation,” Myatt said.
When asked where Brown got the notion that Myatt had ever referenced Brown’s sexual orientation, “I haven’t the slightest idea. I’ve always participated in and helped groups and diverse organizations. There have been many LGBTQIA candidates that I have voted for. So I have never not supported anyone because of their sexual orientation,” Myatt said.
Myatt said he believes he has been the victim of defamation by Mr. Brown.
“He hasn’t apologized,” Myatt said.
“Where I am at this juncture, I want him to apologize to the family of Councilman Young. I’d like for him to get some help with his temper and his demeanor. It’s not the first time he’s had an outburst like that,” Myatt said, referring to a Westside Future Fund debate held prior to the April 2019 Run-off Election.
In addition, as previously reported by APN, Brown viciously attacked candidate Greg Clay when Clay filed an election challenge regarding Brown’s tax liens.
“He has anger management issues,” Myatt said. “I do not think he’s good for District 3 and I do not think he’s good for the City of Atlanta.”
(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2019)