Maybe Birmingham Councilman Johnathan Austin just likes jail?

Johnathan Austin
[Photo Credit: Johnathan Austin Facebook page]

Among Birmingham’s biggest problems is crime.

One of the easiest and proven solutions to juvenile crime is mentorship and having engaged people in the community to look up to. Which makes Birmingham City Councilman and Council President Johnathan Austin’s proposal for city officials to disregard the law almost laughable.

We all know that Austin doesn’t think laws apply to him.

To prove this, we have his earlier two arrests (yes, that’s two), one for DUI in 2014 and another for possession of drugs and drug paraphilia in 2003. but this week he decided to double down on his criminal history and make it official he believes laws just don’t apply to him

But this week, Austin decided to double down on his criminal history, making it official he believes laws just don’t apply to him

Apparently, the only rules suitable for Austin are ones Jonathan Austin likes. That’s a great example for an elected official to make to the city’s youth. If you don’t like a set of rules, screw it; just do your own thing. Consequences be damned!

Earlier this week a crowd in North Carolina thought that too and removed a monument on their own. How did that work out for the woman who promoted and encouraged it? The “22-year-old woman was charged with participation in a riot with property damaging exceeding $1,500 and inciting others to riot, which are felonies, Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews said. She was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of damage to property and disorderly conduct by injury to a statue”, CNN reported.

Though in this case, I’d say it’s probably less about a law he doesn’t like than a publicity stunt.

It seems Austin subscribes to the rule, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.” No one would argue there’s not a national crisis brewing, so, of course, Austin wants to weigh in but not with a statement or peaceful solution. That would be too easy. He wants to do so in dramatic, illegal fashion. Why not?

Photo: City of Mountain Brook Police Department

Councilman Austin is up for re-election next week, in an election where he’s expected to keep his seat.

But for anyone curious about the other candidates, you can find their bios here on

Now back to the circus, issue at hand.

Thankfully, we have Mayor William Bell who’s response to Austin was like that of a father to a child. “No dear, we’re not going to break the rules because we don’t like them. We’re going to go about this the right way. Now go to your room and play.”

Okay, he didn’t say that at all. The mayor’s response was more dignified: “I am not in the business to break the law, I am charged to protect,” Bell said.

Now there’s someone who’s working to keep the respect of those who entrusted him with their vote. Bell went on to say he’s looking for legal remedies to remove the statue which is all the supporters of its removal can hope for.

I hope Birmingham Police Department is on standby for when Austin decides to take matters into his own hands. We really can’t afford to let people in this city believe they’re above the law. Not even our city councilors.

In closing, thank you Mayor Bell!

The city needed your show of leadership this week. We all know that, in the coming years, Austin has his eyes on your job. Looks like he’ll need a lot of time to get the maturity it takes not to grab every grandstanding opportunity that comes his way.


  1. Guess Mayor Bell has changed his mind. Decided to get on the publicity train. Personally I call it racist

  2. This goes along with former Councillman, Audrie Gunn, who said :
    “Don’t they understand, we own this town. Those laws were made long time ago. We are here now.”

    How long ago was the Constitution written?

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