FOREST PARK, Ga. - Followed by undercover officers. Hidden cameras focused on their homes. For years, 2 Forest Park city councilmembers were being watched under the orders of the city's former Police Chief Dwayne Hobbs.
Councilmembers Latresa Akins-Wells and Dabouze Antoine says they were told they were being monitored for 3 years. This was between 2014 and 2017 when Hobbs was chief.
"They had cameras outside of our homes, undercover cops followed us for three years. They went through our trash," said Wells.
According to city leaders, the officers were told to watch the councilmembers on the pretext that they were involved in illegal drug activities and voter fraud. An investigation showed these allegations were unsubstantiated.
Both Wells and Antoine are convinced they were targeted because of their race. They were the only African Americans on the council.
"None of the other councilmembers had cameras on their house, trash being taken and had undercover police officers watching them. What do you call that?" said Dabouze Antoine.
"I'm out fighting for our community knowing these things are happening in the community, not knowing it was happening to me." said Wells.
All of this came to light after the new Police Chief Nathaniel Clark ordered an audit of the department. The audit also showed financial mismanagement, problems in its inventory control of weapons and ammunition and failure to comply with standard operation procedures within the police department.
The city has asked the GBI to look into the problems within the department and the surveillance of the councilmembers.
Both Antoine and Wells say they want to see Dwayne Hobbs face criminal charges.
"I would like to see Chief Hobbs in jail," said Wells.
"He should be prosecuted, bring him to justice," said Antoine.
As a result of the audit of the police department, there have been some major changes. 2 people have been fired, some officers have been reassigned and there have been some policy changes.
Forest Park Mayor Angelyne Butler says "We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that those responsible will be held accountable and punished to the full extent of the law. We now need to restore and build the highest-possible level of trust between the entire Forest Park community and the police department-- that will be one of the highest priorities of this City Council," said Butler in a statement.