Archive for the ‘Police & Crime’ Category

Antioch protest leader, 2017 Youth of the Year arrested for felony arson near Antioch Police station, out on $50K bail

Saturday, January 16th, 2021

From Vinelink.com through CCCSheriff’s website.

“arrested on a $50,000 warrant…for an arson case that took place right behind the police department” – Antioch Police Corporal Josh Evans

By Allen Payton

Posts on Facebook and Twitter, Friday night shortly after 9:00 p.m., by the East Bay Resistance, of which 20-year-old Antioch protester and 2017 Antioch Youth of the Year, Shagoofa Khan is on the board of directors, claimed she was arrested “by Antioch Police Department in Lafayette” for “Felony Arson and her bail is set to $50K” and that they needed $5,000 to bail her out.

Post on Facebook page about 9:05 pm, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021.

According to the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department website, Khan was arrested at 6:00 a.m. on Friday morning in Lafayette by Antioch Police on a warrant.

That was later confirmed by Antioch Police Corporal Josh Evans who said Khan “was arrested on a $50,000 warrant related to an arson case that we are actively working. I can’t give you any information about the investigation, itself. But just confirming she was arrested by our officers…out of Lafayette on an active arrest warrant for an arson case that took place right behind the police department.”

As of Saturday morning, Khan had been bailed out of county jail.

From the CCCSheriff’s website as of Friday night, Jan. 15, 2021.

She has been one of the organizers and leading participants in several protests in Antioch, last year and this year, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and calling for the firing of specific Antioch Police Officers she has referred to as “killer cops”. In addition, she was seen participating in area other protests, including one in Brentwood, last year, near the home of a man who had hung an effigy of former Vice President Joe Biden in effigy, outside his house. (See related article)

Shagoofa Khan with bullhorn marching in a protest. Photo posted on her Facebook page on June 15, 2020.

On Khan’s LinkedIn page she wrote about herself, “I am someone who is very passionate about public service. For me public servitude is about serving everyone and anyone to the best of my ability & making sure that everyone’s voices are heard. If there is anything I can do to help out within my community, I will always make sure to step up to help in any way possible. There is a dire need for community engagement and my personal goal everyday is to get people involved!

Shagoofa Khan with bullhorn. From her LinkedIn page.

One thing I know I want to do when I’m older is to be a public servant and to work for the betterment of the community, city, state, country, and soon hopefully the world! I don’t know how I’m going to start but by making small changes in my community is definitely a great way to start.”

According to her Facebook page, Khan currently lives in Berkeley where she’s attending U.C. Berkeley. In addition, she has been active in student government at Los Medanos College and in Democrat Party politics. Khan is a 2018 graduate of Dozier-Libbey Medical High School in Antioch, ran unsuccessfully for the Antioch School Board, later that year, and was honored as a 2017 Youth of the Year by the Antioch Chamber of Commerce at their annual awards banquet. (See related article).

An effort to reach her for comment was unsuccessful prior to publication. Please check back later for any updates to this report.

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Antioch’s Markstein Sales Company combats slavery, human trafficking, appeals to other business leaders to get involved both locally and nationally

Friday, January 15th, 2021

Owner Laura Markstein places a sign on one of the company’s trucks. Video screenshot.

Through partnerships with New Day for Children and the National Beer Wholesalers Association, Markstein is making a difference to stop this growing crime against children

Help Stop Human Trafficking by reporting a tip or seek help by calling the National Hotline at 1-888-373-7888

By Rebecca Butler

ANTIOCH, Calif. – As part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in January,  Markstein Sales Company (Markstein), a woman-owned and operated wholesale beverage distributor in Northern California, today appealed to business leaders around the country to join in its fight against slavery and human trafficking.  As a long-time supporter and sponsor of the New Day for Children organization that provides funding to help American children who have been recovered from sex trafficking, Markstein has also now joined a nationwide campaign with the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) where beer distributors, who collectively visit more than 600,000 retail establishments across the country, can play a vital role in identifying and reporting suspicious activity often unseen by the typical public.

“Rapidly escalating profits, the internet, limited police resources, and unaware communities have created a perfect storm for the child sex trafficking industry here in the United States. It is the second fastest growing criminal industry in our country, and one that employs sophisticated business practices and is highly lucrative,” said Sharon Wood, Executive Director of New Day for Children. “Today, the U.S. Justice Department estimates that 300,000 children are at risk of being trafficked for sex in the United States. Through partnership with businesses, such as Markstein Sales Company, we can provide the funds and resources needed to transition many of these children to safe housing and therapeutic care, and help prevent it from happening to another one of our children.”

Human trafficking is a growing problem in the U.S., with more than 11,500 human trafficking cases reported in 2019 alone. California has consistently had the highest human trafficking rates in the United States with 1,507 cases reported in 2019. To help combat this, Markstein is installing signage on all of its 75 vehicles that are typically on the roads of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties 14 hours per day, six days per week. The goal of these signs is to raise awareness locally and to provide easy access to hotline information for people that suspect or know of human trafficking cases. Markstein is also providing personalized training, leveraged from both NBWA and New Day for Children, for all truck drivers and merchandisers so they know what to look out for on their daily routes and in the businesses they serve.

“While our work to end human trafficking began at the local level, this is a national problem that needs all business leaders to stand up and make a difference. I am calling on all companies to get involved locally with groups like New Day for Children and nationally with efforts like those sponsored by the NBWA,” said Laura Markstein, President of Markstein Sales Company. “Whether that involves a sign in a highly visible location or extra eyes and ears for identifying and reporting suspicious behavior, there are many companies such as beer distributors that are in a very public and unique position where they can make a significant difference to fight this cause.”

“Beer distributors have behind-the-scenes access to the prime locations where traffickers could be exploiting victims – from bars, restaurants, hotels, convenience stores, to package stores, sports arenas and grocery stores,” said Lauren Kane, Vice President of Communications, National Beer Wholesalers Association. “We commend the work Markstein Sales Company has already been doing locally with programs like New Day for Children. Combining this with their commitment to the NBWA Distributors Against Human Trafficking campaign, means they have the opportunity to significantly impact the fight against human trafficking. Beer distributors in other states have seen a 175% increase in calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline after they started educating their employees and putting signage on their trucks. We are confident Markstein’s efforts will bring similar life-changing results to California.

Call to Action

  • If you are a beer distributor, join the campaign being spearheaded by the NBWA to build awareness and provide training to educate employees on recognizing and reporting the warning signs of human trafficking.
  • If you are any other type of company that has vehicles, products or buildings that are constantly in the public eye, leverage your visibility to do your own campaign and encourage others in your industry to follow suit.
  • Support and sponsor New Day for Children. This nationally recognized charity provides support and assistance to American girls, ages 10-18, who have been recovered from the despair of sex trafficking. Your financial support can provide safe housing, school, medical, mental health care, equine therapy, and much more.
  • Take off the blinders.  If you think this is not happening in your community, you are wrong.  Every state, county, city, and town needs to help combat this nationwide crisis.  This Markstein video outlines the problem and the ways companies and individuals can make a difference.

“I am proud to work for a company that provides the tools and training to turn an average workday into an opportunity to help in a big way,” said Dustin Miller, Commercial Driver, Markstein Sales Company. “As I go about my daily routes, I feel more empowered than ever before to play a part in preventing and stopping these horrible crimes against both children and adults.”

 

New Day for Children is a nationally recognized 501-(c)3 charity that provides support and assistance to American girls, ages 10-18, who have been recovered from the despair of sex trafficking.  Your financial support provides safe housing, school, medical, mental health care, equine therapy and more. New Day for Children collaborates with quality programs for the children’s care. In this video you will see one such facility with New Day supported girls.

About Markstein Sales Company

Markstein Sales Company is a fourth-generation, woman-owned and operated wholesale beverage distributor based in Antioch, Calif. Founded in 1919 with just a horse, a wagon and six cases of beer, Markstein is now in its 101st year and distributing over four million cases annually to 1500 retailers in the Bay Area. The company’s portfolio is composed of multiple world-class beers including the Anheuser-Busch InBev and Constellation Brands family of beers, several high-quality craft beers and many others. Markstein is known for outstanding customer service, dedication to their employees and commitment to the community. The company continues to rank as best in class by retailers and is one of the top ten largest Woman Owned Businesses in the Bay Area. More information can be found at https://www.marksteinsalescompany.com.

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Multi police agency traffic enforcement results in 71 citations in Antioch Wednesday

Friday, January 15th, 2021

Police officers stop three drivers on Via Dora Drive in Antioch on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: APD

By Antioch Police Department

Several motor officers from East County agencies collaborated on Wednesday to provide extra traffic enforcement in Antioch and Oakley.

Together with Pittsburg PD, Oakley PD, Brentwood PD and CHP, we issued:

71 citations in Antioch

50 citations in Oakley

Look for our next collab in the future and stay safe out there! #collab #apdmotorofficers #trafficenforcement #PittsburgPD #OakleyPD #BrentwoodPD #CHP

Police from multiple agencies participated. Three cops await violators at the corner of Via Dora and Asilomar Drives on Wed., Jan. 13, 2021. Photos: APD

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Three men shot in Antioch Thursday night, police seek shooters

Friday, January 15th, 2021

By Corporal James Colley #4705, Antioch Police Field Services Division

On Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at approximately 6:50 pm, The Antioch Police Department responded to the 1100 Block of Sycamore Drive on a report of a shooting involving multiple victims. Upon arrival to the area, Antioch Police Officers located three adult males who sustained gunshot wounds. The male victims were all transported to local Bay Area hospitals and are listed in stable condition. The suspect shooters were seen fleeing the area prior to police arrival and were not located.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Antioch Councilman Barbanica working to get body and car cameras for Antioch Police Department

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

AXON police body and car cameras. Photos: AXON

His research shows they will cost less than the six SRO’s; Ogorchock supports the cameras and has requested them going back several  years; Torres-Walker also supports body cameras

By Allen Payton

Since before he took office on Dec. 8, District 2 Antioch City Councilman Mike Barbanica has been pursuing body cameras for each Antioch police officer, as well as cameras for each police car. He’s been doing research into the costs for the Antioch Police Department.

In a January 8 post on his council Facebook page Barbanica wrote, “This week I requested that police body cams were to be placed on the agenda this coming council meeting. I know this is supported by many in the public and also supported by the Chief and the APOA representatives that I have spoken with. Let’s hope that it gets on there and we can take a big step towards continued transparency for all.”

When reached for further details he shared, “I have spoken with other agencies, with the APOA (Antioch Police Officers Association), with Chief Brooks about the system, asking how many cameras we will need and how many cars APD uses.”

“I have been in contact with AXON, which used to be just a taser company,” Barbanica said. “They provided me with pricing to outfit every officer and every car, and a taser system that will automatically activate the camera system when it’s drawn.”

“They offer a five-year contract. At 2.5 years we would automatically have each body camera replaced with the latest technology. Then again at the five-year mark,” he explained. “This package, each year, would cost us less than what we would have spent on the SRO’s and we’d still have money left over.” Barbanica was referring to the six School Resource Officers for which the council majority voted to rescind the federal grant, last month.

“I didn’t get an official quote on behalf of the city. But they provided me one based on the size of our city,” he continued. “With unlimited storage, this system would cost the city for year one $330-340,000 and years two through year five $320-330,000.”

Antioch Police Department is one of only four agencies in the county to not have police body cameras, along with the Martinez PD, Lafayette PD and the Sheriff’s Department.

“The CHP doesn’t have body cams,” Barbanica added. “But they’ve developed an internal policy allowing officers to buy their own.”

“We are the second largest city in the county. Why don’t we have body cameras?” he asked. “If we’re wanting transparency for our city, this is a first, great step. It’s a need. We don’t need to wait until after the Bridging the Gap forums. We have the funds available. Why aren’t we acting on this?”

Barbanica has made several requests hoping to have the matter on tonight’s council meeting agenda. But the agenda is already full, with 22 consent calendar items and eight other regular agenda items.

District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock has also asked for the matter to be placed on a council meeting agenda, as recently as the end of the December 8 meeting. She also asked for the matter to be put on the agenda, in the past, going back to when Allan Cantando was Chief of Police. But there wasn’t enough funds in the budget, then.

District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker has also expressed support for body cameras for the police.

It takes three council members to vote to approve the police body and car cameras. Those members of the public who also support cameras for the Antioch Police Department and want the matter placed on the next council meeting agenda for Tuesday, Jan. 26 can contact Mayor Lamar Thorpe via email at lthorpe@ci.antioch.ca.us or make a public comment during tonight’s council meeting by completing the request form, on the City’s website, here. The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m.

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

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

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

 

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Antioch Council to hold Bridging The Gap community discussions on police oversight, race relations beginning Jan. 19

Monday, January 11th, 2021

Graphic: City of Antioch

1/12/21 UPDATE: Participation limited to only 75 individuals who either live or work in Antioch and in only one of three “Dialogues”, public comments also limited since not regular council meetings

The Antioch community is invited to participate in a series of discussions entitled “Bridging the Gap” with the goal of increasing understanding of how to address racial injustice and improve police-community relations. They will be hosted by CNA, a non-profit 501(c)(3) with professional experience assisting public agencies in the realm of public safety services. Those who live or work in Antioch are invited to register for one virtual discussion session from the list below.

Dialogue 1: Police Oversight, Accountability, and Transparency

Date:  Tuesday, January 19th

Time: 5:30 – 7:00 pm

Discussion will focus on methods of police oversight, the police conduct complaint and discipline process, and practices that can increase police transparency.

Register here.

Dialogue 2: Racial Disparities in Policing

Date:  Saturday, February 6th

Time: 10:00 – 11:30 am

Discussion will focus on the disparate impact of police practices – such as recruitment and training, and use of force – on communities of color.

Register here.

Dialogue 3: Police-Community Engagement

Date:  Thursday, February 18th

Time: 10:00 – 11:30 am

Discussion will focus on how to improve the ways in which the police interact with young people and vulnerable communities, how police approach crime prevention, and how communities impact policing priorities.

Register here.

Questions About Meetings

The following questions were sent to Mayor Lamar Thorpe, City Manager Ron Bernal and City Attorney Thomas Smith, City Clerk Ellie Householder and Assistant City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore and the City’s Public Information Officer, Rolando Bonilla provided answers.If I understand that correctly, each Antioch resident gets to register for and participate in only one of the three different Bridge the Gap discussions/Dialogues that have different topics. Is that correct?

Q. If I understand that correctly, each Antioch resident gets to register for and participate in only one of the three different Bridge the Gap discussions/Dialogues that have different topics. Is that correct?

A. “Yes. On December 15th, at the City Council meeting, the format for the Bridging the Gap roundtable discussions was held by the Council.”

Q.  Does that mean each resident who wishes to participate only gets to offer a public comment during one of the forums, each of which have different topics? Or can each person who wants submit a public comment during each, but only receive the resource materials for one? Will everyone be able to watch all three?

A. “Thebulk of the meeting times is intendedfor small, facilitated breakout sessions in which intimate discussions about the select topic will occur,” he explained.

Q. Aren’t they going to be public meetings and therefore must allow any and all residents to participate and offer public comments before or after the meeting, as well as on the agendized topic?

A. “It is public in that members of the public can participate, and the larger group convening will be publicly broadcast, but not public in the same way as a City Council meeting. Due to that, those requirements do not apply.”

Q. Also, why are you holding the first one at 5:30 p.m. on a Tuesday when some residents who still are working at jobs outside of the city will still be in the commute at that time?

A. “A pre-eventsurvey was conducted and advertised across several City platforms. Meeting days and times were selected based on the input of respondents.”

Q. Are you trying to limit public participation to fit within your timeframes for each?

A. “No.”

Q. You do recognize limiting each to just 90 minutes on such volatile, controversial topics is not enough time, right?

A. “Your opinion.”

However, Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker doesn’t isn’t waiting for the forums to occur. In a Friday post on her District 1 City Council Facebook page she wrote, “Show up for police reform in Antioch. Tuesday, January 12, 2021 7 PM

We need to address the lack of accountability and transparency of the Antioch Police Department that leads to bias policing, excessive use of force, and harassment in the City of Antioch.

We can’t forget about George Floyd, Tamir rice Freddie Gray, Brianna Taylor, Ahmad Albury, Eric Garner, Jacob blake [sic], Devin Carter, Sandra Bland and so many more.

Ask that the Antioch City Council take action now. Your voice matters

  1. Body-worn cameras on every officer.
  2. A dashcam in every police car.
  3. Independent investigations into civilian complaints regarding the use of force, harassment, and misconduct.
  4. The establishment of a civilian police oversight body.”

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Antioch Police seek help identifying family members involved in suspicious circumstance

Saturday, January 9th, 2021

Photo: APD

By Antioch Police Department

The Antioch Police Department is following up on reports of a suspicious circumstance that took place on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 shortly after 4:00 pm. Residents in the area of Willow Avenue in Antioch called 9-1-1 to report a possible fight that resulted in a subject being forced into a car. Through further investigation, officers obtained surveillance footage that depicted what looks more like a family dispute involving a defiant male juvenile. An extensive search for the involved parties was conducted which met with negative results.

Photos: APD

Based on the footage, the involved vehicles appear to be a 2019/2020 Toyota Rav4 and a 2019/2020 Chevy Equinox.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the APD Investigations Bureau at (925) 779-6884.

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