Police-bashing "social justice activist" arrested after allegedly being involved in hit and run in a stolen vehicle

ATLANTA, GA – Matthew Johnson, a social justice activist, known for his efforts at stopping the construction of a new police facility in Atlanta, found himself in jail on September 29th.

Johnson was arrested for allegedly stealing a luxury vehicle from an auto repair shop and then crashing that same vehicle.

Johnson had his SUV serviced at the Express Oil Change and tire Engineers and went to pick it up on the 29th. However, before paying for the service performed on his vehicle, he took the opportunity to grab the keys to a Mercedes Benz without the employee noticing. 

After paying for his vehicle, Johnson allegedly went into the parking lot and jumped into that luxury vehicle and started to dive off. According to WSB-TV news, a manager for the repair shop tried to stop the alleged car theft but was unable to stop him before Johnson fled the parking lot. 

When Johnson got out onto the street, he allegedly caused a multiple vehicle crash which was captured on surveillance video and obtained by the news outlet. Video shows one of the vehicles struck by the stolen vehicle rolled multiple times before landing in the opposite lanes of travel. 

Instead of staying and waiting for the police, Johnson is allegedly the person seen on video running from the scene in an attempt to get away.

Atlanta police officers responded to the scene and were able to locate Johnson. He was arrested and charged with several crimes, including theft by taking, (stealing the car), reckless driving, and hit and run with property damage. 

Johnson is no stranger to the press in Atlanta as he is the executive director for Beloved Community Ministries which is known to be a social justice nonprofit organization. Johnson is also an outspoken critic of the new police training facility, nicknamed “Cop City,” which is being built in Atlanta. 

Johnson is also affiliate with Defend the Atlanta Forest, a self-proclaimed “autonomous movement for the future of South Atlanta” which also serves to prevent the construction of the police training facility.

Through the non-profit organization and Defend the Forest, Johnson has spoken several times to the media, voicing his opposition to the construction of the police facility.

Johnson remained in custody for most of the evening, however, by early morning, he was released the next day. WSB-TV reported they have called Johnson's number and have yet, as of the news report, to hear back from him.
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WHY did they let him out of jail?

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