Dwayne Hobbs was a police chief in the city of Forest Park, which is part of the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. His department was accused of racial profiling and he has been fired after more than four decades on the force.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Hobbs Was Fired October 1 By a City Council Vote of 3-2
Police chief Dwayne Hobbs and his department have reportedly been facing allegations of racial profiling. He has denied the accusations.
Amid that controversy, the Forest Park city council voted to remove Hobbs from his position as police chief. The decision was made late Monday, October 1. The vote was 3-2 in favor of termination. The vote was reportedly divided along racial lines.
Hobbs was not in the room for the vote. The Clayton News Daily reported that Hobbs was watching the meeting via video from an adjacent room. Police Captain Jason Armstrong was named the interim police chief.
2. A City Councilor Would Not Confirm Whether the Allegations of Racial Profiling Prompted the Firing
WSB-TV in Atlanta spoke with Hobbs a week prior to the vote. He told the news station that he had asked the city council whether he had done anything wrong, and they told him he had not.
After the city council voted to terminate Hobbs, a WSB-TV reporter questioned Councilman Dabouze Antoine. He asked whether the accusations made about racial profiling were the reason for the sudden firing. But Antoine did not confirm that. Antoine told the reporter, “Well, I can’t say much now because the reason we made this decision is: It wasn’t good.”
Antoine also stated that the “people wanted change. I’m a voice for the people and the city decided to go a different direction.”
3. Dwayne Hobbs Worked for the Forest Park Police Department for 45 Years
Dwayne Hobbs has spent his entire professional career with the Forest Park Police Department. According to his LinkedIn profile, Hobbs joined the force in July of 1973. He has been chief of police for 22 years.
He began his career as an officer while still in school. Hobbs attended Clayton State University from 1973 to 1975. He earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice. He returned to college in 1996 and obtained a Master of Public Administration.
In the bio section, Hobbs described himself as a “Public servant with commitment to the community.”
4. The City of Forest Park is Part of the Greater Atlanta Region & the Majority of the Population is Black or Hispanic; Hobbs is White
The city of Forest Park is located about nine miles south of Atlanta. According to 2017 estimates from the Census Bureau, the population was about 19,000 people. The poverty rate is estimated to be 34.5 percent, which is more than twice as high as the national average.
Forest Park is a city in which minority groups make up the majority of the population. According to City-Data, nearly 40 percent of the city’s residents are African-American. 30 percent of the population is Hispanic. Another 10 percent identify as Asian.
Hobbs told WSB-TV that the Forest Park police department investigates, on average, 4 or 5 complaints of racial profiling per year. He denied that the department had an issue with profiling. Hobbs insisted that if there was ever evidence of an officer acting inappropriately, “there’d be swift justice.”
5. Hobbs Has Been Known to Post His Support for Fellow Law Enforcement Officers on Facebook
On his public Facebook page, Dwayne Hobbs posted the most often in support of the police community. In 2014, he shared multiple posts about a case in New York City, when two NYPD officers were shot and killed in Brooklyn. Investigators said Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were ambushed while sitting in their patrol car.
In December 2014, Hobbs shared an article about Navy Seal Robert O’Neill. He is the veteran who claimed to have fired the shots that killed Osama Bin Laden. The article was about how O’Neill allegedly injured five would-be burglars who broke into his home. Hobbs commented, “Karma at its finest.”