Atlanta City Council member free after traffic stop

The DeKalb County Police Department said it will look into why an Atlanta City Council member was not arrested after he was found to be driving on a suspended license on Friday.

Councilman Aaron Watson was allowed to go free after he was pulled over during a routine traffic stop and it was discovered he was driving on a suspended license.

In a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Watson said he didn’t realize his license had been suspended and has since paid the the citation “associated with this matter.” He is the at-large councilman for Atlanta’s Post 2.

Typically, such an infraction warrants an immediate arrest if there is no alternate eligible driver in the car, county authorities told the AJC. Watson, however, remained free, county officials said.

“The police department will be looking into the circumstances as to why someone who has a suspended driver’s license in the system was allowed to drive away,” county spokesman Burke Brennan told the AJC. He said no arrest warrant was pending.

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Efforts to reach Watson late Friday were not successful, but in a statement Saturday the councilman said he was stopped as he headed home to pick up his wife to attend a holiday event.

“I am not aware of receiving any notification about the change in the status of my license,” the councilman said in the statement. “Unfortunately, I overlooked the citation associated with this matter in my haste to renew my vehicle’s registration. I have since paid the citation and will address the reinstatement of my license immediately.”

The councilman added, “I appreciate the officer using his discretion after informing me about my license.”

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