Torres-Walker announces support for Antioch police reforms before Friday night’s special council meeting

Claims “police brutality” and “excessive use of force” in the APD as reasons

By Allen Payton

In a press release Thursday evening, Antioch District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker announced her support for police reforms ahead of the special council meeting to discuss them and before first hearing from the public on the specific reforms on the agenda, Friday night, Feb. 26. She cited the recent deaths of two men following interactions with Antioch Police officers, in late December and early Wednesday morning. That’s in spite of the fact no information has been released by the APD about the first, in which Angelo Quinto died three days after his interaction with police, and it’s not clear that he was still in police custody at the time, and the investigations into both have yet to be completed.

She also claims her reasons for support of the reforms are the need “to undo the practices and culture that allow for police brutality,” and “conditions at the department that have led to a culture of excessive use of force” but without providing any data to back up her accusations. Torres-Walker also writes about the protests this past year and that “many have been assaulted, harassed and have had their lives threatened,” without being clear that she’s referring to protesters or Antioch residents in general, nor if those things were done by Antioch police officers.

In addition, Torres-Walker claims that the citizen input provided during the Bridging the Gap discussions was inadequate because it didn’t include enough members of the public, even though she was one of the council members who voted to hold the three forums and approved the format during their meeting on Dec. 15. The format limited the total number of participants to just 75 Antioch residents or business owners per discussion. Lastly, she claims “the public has been given insufficient time to voice their concerns” during the forums.

Nevertheless, Torres-Walker and Mayor Lamar Thorpe (who proposed his reforms during a press conference on Monday – to which she was specifically not invited – and also called the special meeting) want to move forward with his proposals both before the report on the Bridging the Gap discussions from the paid consultants has been completed, and only after input is given during public comments Friday night.

Following is Torres-Walker’s press release posted on her council campaign Facebook page and on her campaign website:

“Antioch (is) in need of significant and immediate police reform with true community oversight. Over the past month, we have lost two lives while in custody of our police department.

My heart and prayers goes to the impacted families of our recent tragedies, and I ask our community to demonstrate peace and solidarity for one another. The recent tragedies and loss of life in our community are unacceptable.

I want you to know that I feel the pain our community feels right now, and I too am in many emotions. With that in mind, I also aim to lead with compassion and ensure that justice and change are coming.

Life is precious and we matter in Antioch.

As the newly elected city councilmember for the Antioch City Council, I will wield this position to hold the council accountable.

Working with law enforcement agencies across Contra Costa, I know first-hand how difficult but necessary it is to undo the practices and culture that allow for police brutality.

Residents have been calling for change and true community oversight of the police department for years. However, at a meeting in 2017, the City Council informally decided to not purchase body cameras for police officers and stated that the priority was to hire more police officers for patrol.

At the time, outfitting 105 officers with cameras would cost roughly $107,000.

Chief Brooks’ total pay and benefits in 2017 totaled $430,928.10. A police officer’s salary in Antioch at the time with regular pay would be between $100,000 and $127,000, with most being around $113,000 (including total pay and benefits, this amounts to $250,000 for one officer).

Four years later, there are still no body cameras on officers.

There is no integration between mental health services and crisis management.

There is no citizens’ oversight committee.

The entire past year, Antioch community members have been protesting against Antioch’s police department’s excessive use of force.

Many have been assaulted, harassed and have had their lives threatened.

Our Bridging the Gap discussions, meant to foster public participation, are severely limited by the attendance cap and the public has been given insufficient time to voice their concerns. As a community organizer, this is unacceptable in terms of public participation and inclusion.

We need change to the police department as well as a true citizens’ oversight committee.

I know in my years of transforming law enforcement, it is not easy. It does begin with accountability. I want residents to know that you have my commitment to uncovering and remedying the conditions at the department that have led to a culture of excessive use of force, where our own community members’ lives have been lost and many others have been harmed.

Residents of Antioch deserve this change and deserve it now.”

The special Antioch City Council meeting will be held at 5:00 p.m. and can be viewed via livestream on the city’s website at, on Comcast Channel 24, or AT&T U-Verse Channel 99.

To make a public comment:

  1. Fill out an online speaker card by 3:00 p.m. Friday at:
  2. Provide oral public comments during the meeting by clicking the following link to register in advance to access the meeting via Zoom Webinar:


the attachments to this post:

APD & Tamisha Walker FB

No Comments so far.

Leave a Reply