Ninth Circuit Appeals Court Affirms No Discrimination by the City of Antioch, Police

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the federal trial court’s decision in the Tuggles case finding no discrimination by the City of Antioch in its community policing efforts. At the 2010 trial, a San Francisco federal jury deliberated only a short time before reaching its verdict of no discrimination by the police department.

This is another court victory for Antioch that affirms what the City’s residents and community leaders have understood for years: Antioch’s community policing programs were appropriate, unbiased attempts to address crime and neighborhood problems.

Plaintiff’s case hinged on accusations that the City’s practice of notifying landlords and the Contra Costa County Housing Authority of crimes and nuisance activity was improper. The federal jury, and now the federal appellate court, rejected that argument.

Also rejected was plaintiff’s claim that Antioch’s community policing efforts were discriminatory if crime and policing statistics did not absolutely mirror the racial or economic demographics of the community.

This appeals court decision comes after a landlord withdrew his discredited claims of harassment and dismissed his case in September, 2010 after payment of nominal court costs (Patras et al. v. Antioch et al.). Officers the landlord claimed threatened him were proven to be nowhere near his home or not even employed by the city.

The landlord was also a key witness in the lawsuit brought by the ACLU and Impact Fund alleging that neighbors and police working together to build safer neighborhoods was some elaborate and sinister conspiracy (Williams et al. v. Antioch).

As the evidence mounted that Antioch’s community policing efforts were fair, unbiased and focused on addressing criminal, drug and nuisance activities in neighborhoods, plaintiffs and their lawyers eventually agreed to dismiss their lawsuit in exchange for a settlement that was a fraction of what they originally sought.

The favorable resolution of all of these cases allows Antioch the opportunity to refocus valuable and limited resources and attention on community issues and solutions.

We are grateful to community members of all races and backgrounds for standing alongside us as we stood up to these false allegations, and we are ready to move forward to make Antioch a better place to live, work and raise a family for all,” said Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando.

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