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45 Antioch Police Officers Accused of Sending Racist Texts Messages: Public Defender

The scandal is growing.

According to the Contra Costa County Public Defenders’ Office, nearly half of Antioch’s police department was involved in the racist and homophobic text chains that have rocked the entire community.

In a new letter to the Contra Costa County district attorney, public defender Ellen McDonnell revealed there’s now at least 45 Antioch officers on text chains they call “racist, homophobic and violent against Black people.”

McDonnell also confirmed that at least 16 of those officers are in leadership roles.

“The number of officers involved is so deeply concerning, it raises questions about how this went on for so long, who was complicit, what was the impact of not just the cases but the people who called for help,” said Zahra Billoo.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area condemned the recent revelations Friday. Billoo, Its executive director said that she’s afraid of reading the messages and the effect they would have on her.

“There are people who are sitting behind bars, based on the testimony of these officers, who are now proven to be incredibly discredited, racist bigots acting under the cover of law,” she said.

In the letter from McDonnell, the public defender requests the DA immediately dismiss all pending public defender cases involving Antioch police, release their incarcerated clients, and cease filing any police related cases.

“If somebody who attempted to do real harm to the community, you know, gets an opportunity to get their case dropped, that’s on the hands of the officers,” said Antioch mayor pro tem Tamisha Torres-Walker.

Torres-Walker added the latest reports–have been shocking to read and is prepared to support a request from the mayor to bring a racial equity audit in the police department.

That request will be heard Tuesday during a special city council meeting.

In a statement released Thursday, the Antioch police chief apologized to the community and assured residents a thorough investigation will be conducted action has been taken to make sure the community isn’t exposed to the individuals in question.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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