Writer shares letter to Antioch Council on holding Torres-Walker accountable

Dear Council Members,

I have watched the FB live videos from Ms. Torres-Walker and Mr. Thorpe.  I noticed that you both promote and are seeking “accountability” from the police department regarding the police interaction with Ms. Torres-Walker’s children (23-year-old and 13-year-old sons).  Your demand for accountability revolves around alleged racial bias, alleged police misconduct and excessive force by the Antioch Police.

The word “Accountable” is defined as: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.

I agree that all parents have an obligation to protect their children.  We also have an obligation to model and teach accountability.  As an adult we have to hold ourselves accountable and admit our own wrong doings.  We must also hold our children accountable for their actions.

As City leaders, you are held to a higher standard.  You are “accountable” to your community!  You are expected to behave in a professional manner, a manner that does not bring disrepute to our city and does not create a division amongst city offices and the community.  Your personal beliefs and personal agendas are not to interfere with your job as a council member.  As elected officials; you took an oath to “bear true faith and allegiance to the United States and the Constitution of the State of California”, and you agreed to discharge your duties faithfully.

Your videos have displayed a blatant disregard of your oath and obligation to our community.  Ms. Torres-Walker renounced her position as a council member, she did not uphold her oath and she behaved in an unprofessional manner while spewing her discord toward our city government and community.  Ms. Torres-Walker’s threats of violence toward our police officers, threat to organize protests against our police department and threats of a potential lawsuit are inexcusable.  Ms. Torres-Walker’s rant and rhetoric serve only to deflect her accountability (along with the accountability of her children) and blame the police for the unlawful behavior of her “23- and 13-year-old children.”

Mr. Thorpe, your attempt to downplay, defend and excuse Ms. Torres-Walker’s rhetoric is inexcusable.  The fact that a council member under your leadership has behaved in such a horrific and divisive manner reflects poorly upon you and your leadership abilities.

As a longtime community member and business owner, I am asking that you publicly condemn Ms. Torres-Walker’s behavior/threats and that you ensure our community that her behavior or similar behavior by anyone will not be tolerated.

Ms. Torres-Walker admitted she allowed her 13-year-old (an unlicensed driver) to drive an off-road quad runner on a public roadway.  This is a clear violation of Vehicle code 12500 (a) which states: “a person may not drive a motor vehicle upon a highway, unless the person holds a valid driver’s license issued under this code.”  California Penal Code Section 273 (a) states: “Any person who willfully causes or permits that a child be placed in a situation where his or her person or health is endangered, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in a state prison for two, four or six years.” The discussions this evening would not be occurring had Ms. Torres-Walker and her 23-year-old child (who video recorded himself driving his off-road motorcycle in a reckless manner and endangered/abandoned his 13-year-old brother while evading the police on a public roadway) followed the law.

Mr. Thorpe, if you truly want accountability and unity within our community, then you must start by holding Ms. Torres-Walker accountable for her actions and decisions that led the Antioch Police Officers to come in contact with her children who were unlawfully operating motor vehicles on public roadways and subsequently decided to initiate a vehicle pursuit when the police arrived.  You must also hold Ms. Torres-Walker accountable for spewing hateful, divisive remarks, unprofessional behavior and threats of violence toward our police officers and community.  Your decision to justify Ms. Torres-Walker’s efforts to demonize our police department and divide our community is unacceptable!  Your decision to defend poor behavior has created a further division amongst community members.

This incident occurred while you were vacationing out of the country, during a pandemic that has our nation, state, county and city under strict COVID pandemic restrictions.  Your justifications of Ms. Torres-Walker’s poor decisions and your actions of leaving the country have given the impression that you believe you are “above the law.”

A true leader will always lead by example and will not excuse poor behavior.    Accountability is paramount and it builds trust and unity.  It is my hope that you will reflect upon your decision to support Ms. Torres-Walker’s poor behavior, you will hold yourself accountable and that you will make an effort to correct the division you created.

Everyone makes mistakes, but only a person with integrity owns up to them!

Jesse Zuniga Jr.

Community Member since 1989 and Antioch Business Owner since 2002

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

No Comments so far.

Leave a Reply