The Clayton Crescent has received multiple tips that Ward 2 Councilman Dabouze Antoine allegedly was shot over the weekend. City officials declined to comment on specifics of the incident, which Police Chief Brandon Criss confirmed is under investigation, and issued an official statement referring inquiries directly to Antoine, calling it a “personal matter”:

The City of Forest Park was made aware of an incident that took place on Saturday, July 1, involving Councilman Dabouze Antoine. The situation is an ongoing personal matter and therefore, any and all inquiries should be directed to Councilman Antoine for further comment.

One source said Antoine allegedly was lured to the door of his home by a woman, and that several men jumped out of the bushes and fired, striking Antoine in the arm.

The Clayton Crescent tried to reach Antoine twice via his city-provided cell phone number but the calls went to voicemail. We left messages at 1:22 p.m. and 2:23 p.m. and sent an e-mail at 3:22 p.m. seeking his comment for this story but got no response. We will update when we have more information.

The Clayton Crescent also has filed Open Records Requests with Forest Park Police and Forest Park Fire and Emergency Services for more information about the incident. We also have requested information from other area law enforcement agencies.

In 2021, Antoine and Ward 4 Councilwoman Latresa Akins-Wells sued the city and several former members of the FPPD commend staff under then-Chief Dwayne Hobbs for allegedly spying on them. In his original complaint, Antoine said city police monitored his movements, social media, and nonprofit activity from 2013 through part of 2018. The city eventually settled with both councilmembers.

Antoine, who narrowly won reelection against challenger Cliff Pellegrine by three votes, has come under legal scrutiny several times while in office:

Antoine, who lost several members of his family in the 2016 earthquake in Haiti, has been active in Hatian-American circles in metro Atlanta.

In 2021, Antoine succeeded in getting the city to donate an old surplus mobile water “buffalo” to Forest Park’s Haitian sister city of Mirebalais. Since then, he has not been able to get the council to pay for shipping the tank.

At the May 1 council meeting, Antoine made a motion to add a discussion of Sister Cities to the agenda. Antoine objected to the fact that the city had cut its budget for the program and stated he wanted emergency funding for cellphones, school supplies, and a swing set. The rest of the council voted down his request. Other council members and some citizens have pushed back against Antoine’s repeated requests for local taxpayer dollars for Haitian aid.

During closing comments, Antoine claimed that “God is using me to let the world know that they rejected a country” and that the Haitian people’s suffering is “not a Forest Park thing”: “We have two [fire] trucks that are collecting dust, and I applaud the mayor and council because in 2018 we voted to partner up with this country. We are turning our head to Haiti but going to Afghanistan and Ukraine. I am just asking you to be leaders and step things up.”

Ward 3 Councilman Héctor Gutierrez acknowledged Haiti’s economic plight and its history as “the first country ever to be freed by slaves,” but added, “I appreciate what you are saying and would like to start the conversation on how to raise money and get these things over there. The reality of it is, we are right here, and we can put a swing set at Perkins Park. We are here for our people, and these are the taxpayer dollars. We need to find organizations to help us to try and match it and not take on the whole burden. We have a lot of homelessness here as well.”

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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