Five police officers from Antioch and Pittsburg accused of fixing traffic tickets for bribes appeared for their arraignments in court Wednesday.
Contra Costa County’s district attorney charged the five, each represented by their own attorney, saying they had engaged in criminal conspiracy. These charges are the latest from a wider corruption investigation.
“I’m just out here to keep an eye on what’s happening with the officers from Antioch that are going through the legal system,” said Frank Sterling Jr., who was present at the hearing.
Sterling is part of the community group Reimagine Antioch and added that he has been paying attention to the wider scandal of racist text messages exchanged among some officers.
“We will watch each court case and see what happens and keep an eye on this,” said Sterling. “Because we really want to see it through. Reimagine Antioch wants to see that they don’t just get charged, they get convicted of crimes.”
The five did not enter a plea Wednesday, according to Ted Asregadoo, a public information officer with the DA’s office.
According to court documents, one officer allegedly accepted a bottle of tequila in exchange for fixing a traffic ticket while another accusation involved bribes of food. While all five face charges related to conspiracy, only some face charges of bribery.
The parents of Angelo Quinto, who died after being restrained by Antioch police in 2020, were outside the court Wednesday and said they had been following the case, too.
“It’s really important for the community to pay attention here,” said Robert Collins, Quinto’s father. “because what we have got is really a breakdown of a system that the community relies on.”
NBC Bay Area tried to speak with some of the defendants’ attorneys after the arraignment, but they declined to comment.
Source: NBC Bay Area