Antioch police prepared for expected dirt bike “rideout” planned for Sunday

Mayor Lamar Thorpe speaks during June 16th press conference about the planned rideout, while Chief T Brooks looks on.

Mayor gives organizers until Friday to cancel; enforcement will include $300 fines and $3,000 impound fees; Councilwoman Torres-Walker’s son believed to be promoting event on social media; she responds on Facebook, claims “six-month assault on her character and sons’ lives” by Antioch police.

“I’m not as respectable as you would like your nigroes in Antioch to be.” – Tamisha Torres-Walker

By Allen Payton

During a press conference Wednesday morning, June 16, 2021 Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe and Police Chief T Brooks announced the city is prepared for a “rideout” of off-road vehicles planned for this Sunday, June 20th promoted on social media.

The city has dealt with large sideshows of cars, this year. The rideout is expected to involve dirt bikes and ATV’s.

“Good morning and welcome to Antioch, a ‘No Sideshow Zone,’” Thorpe said before reading from prepared remarks in English and Spanish.

“On April 18th of this year, a large-scale sideshow consisting of 60 to 80 vehicles ascended into Eastern Contra Costa County. The sideshow including participants and spectators took over major intersections causing unnecessary disturbances, unnecessary delays and unnecessarily putting innocent lives in danger.

Since then, my colleagues and I have looked at measures to prevent these kinds of illegal and extremely dangerous events from occurring on our streets.

First, we are going to install elevated pavement markers at three intersections to reduce the smooth surface to make it difficult to perform sideshows.  James Donlon and Somerville, Sunset and Cavallo; and Bluerock and Eagleridge.

Second, we’re working to identify a property so that youth can use their off-road vehicles safely and legally. Third, the police department is authorized to initiate its proactive sideshow enforcement detail when it obtains actionable information about any such planned events.

And the Antioch Police Department did just that, the weekend of May 22nd, when it received key information about a planned large-scale sideshow. As a result, APD towed close to 30 cars and issued over 20 citations that start at $300. Please note, vehicles are impounded for 30 days, and the owner has to pay a $3,000 impound fee to get the vehicle out.

Sideshows and other similar types of unsanctioned vehicle events like ATV ride-outs, Harley-Davidson rallies, street racing, donuts, burnouts, and more are not welcome in Antioch or throughout Eastern Contra Costa County.
I do want to say that I recognize that these types of events are part of Bay Area culture particularly as an expression of resistance. But I cannot ignore the fact that these kinds of events can kill people and more importantly young people who in some instances believe they’re invincible.

On Monday, the Chief of Police briefed me on a planned largescale off-road vehicle “Summer Rideout” that is being promoted on social media and reaching far parts of the Bay Area. For those that may not know, these Rideouts, similar to sideshows, involve large numbers of people flooding city streets and sidewalks using off-road vehicles. This event is being planned for June 20th, Father’s Day. Again, this is extremely dangerous.

As mayor, I’ve had to embrace grieving moms who have lost their children to gun violence or whose children have died in police custody. Please don’t make me hug or pick up the phone to call a dad, on Father’s Day, because their child was killed as a result of an unfortunate traffic accident related to this event.

It is never my intention to involve law enforcement to prevent these events from happening in the first place. For those who are planning and orchestrating this event, you have until Friday to cancel this event. I encourage those who were planning to attend not to. Stay away.

If the Antioch Police Department has not received actionable and reliable information that this event has not been canceled, the Chief of Police will have my support in employing proactive law enforcement measures including seeking mutual aid assistance from allied agencies throughout the region, over time, and drone technology.”

“If you come to Antioch, your off-road vehicle will be impounded for 30 days costing you or your parents $3,000 and you’re going to be issued a citation starting at $300,” Thorpe continued emphatically. “I’m not messing around with anyone. This is not the place to conduct these kinds of activities. I’ve warned everyone who is organizing this. If not, you will be met with my full support for the Antioch Police Department.”

Antioch Police Chief T Brooks answers reporters questions as Mayor Thorpe looks on during the press conference Wednesday morning, June 16, 2021.

Chief Brooks spoke next saying, “as we have done in the past me will we take steps to prevent the event from occurring. If not possible, we will use available resources to ensure safe vehicle practices. I want to make three things perfectly clear. These events are dangerous. This behavior is illegal – to operate off-road vehicles on public roadways. Third, Antioch Police officers along will work with neighboring officers from agencies.”

“I would like to thank Mayor Thorpe for his strong stance on this issue,” Brooks added.

Councilwoman’s Son Promoting Rideout on Social Media

Instagram post believed to be by one of Antioch Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker’s sons promoting the rideout for this Sunday, June 20th. (Edited due to profanity)

Due to claims that one of Antioch District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker’s sons promoting Sunday’s event on social media (which she later confirmed), Thorpe was asked if he had spoken to her to tell her son not to promote or participate in them. Thorpe responded, “this is about cancelling the event and let the public know we are going to hold people accountable. I’m not playing games.”

On a related matter Chief Brooks was asked when the outside investigators’ report will be released about the incident between the councilwoman’s sons and Antioch Police in December and if he could speak about the report. (See related articles here, here and here)

“I cannot,” he responded. “I’m here to talk about this event.”

Asked by another reporter what will be placed in the three intersections and when, Thorpe responded, “elevated street markers. They actually should be getting installed…in the coming week.”

Brooks then spoke of “the danger to everyone involved with the reckless driving” and “officers almost being hit by vehicles and being assaulted by those involved, as well.”

Asked by another reporter where the participants are from, Brooks responded, “in the last event…we found that the vast majority of people were not from Antioch and not even from East County.”

Asked by another reporter where it’s going to happen Brooks responded, “I don’t have that information, right now.”

These types of activities are part of Bay Area culture…and it’s part of cultural resistance. This is why we want to use these types of opportunities to share with everybody this is not safe this is not welcome.

Asked where the city is considering locating a legal and safe place for people to ride their dirt bikes, Thorpe said, “there is one property owner who is willing to work with us on a safe location.” But he was not ready to share where that is.

Brooks was then asked, about those riding their off-road vehicles on city streets, now and what is being done to enforce that. He responded, “it’s typical traffic enforcement.”

Asked if they get their vehicle impounded right then, he said, “it varies.”

UPDATE #2: Torres-Walker’s son’s posts on his Instagram posts regarding the expected police response to the planned rideout. The one on the right was posted after Wednesday morning’s press conference by the mayor and police chief. (Far left one edited due to profanity)

UPDATE #1: Torres-Walker Responds, Claims Six-Month Assault on Her Character and Sons’ Lives

Thorpe’s Instagram post on Tuesday, about the planned rideout and announcing Wednesday’s press conference. Source: Tamisha Torres-Walker

An email was sent to Torres-Walker showing her the Instagram post believed to be by her adult son and asking if she had spoken with him to tell him to stop promoting it and not participate in it. She responded simply, “He can promote what he wants.”

However, the councilwoman posted the following statement on her official Facebook page Wednesday afternoon along with photos of her son being detained by APD officers during the December 2020 incident, the same Instagram post by her son, above and an Instagram post by Thorpe about the planned rideout:

“I heard about the press conference today related to off-road vehicles and sideshows and I agree that these events can be dangerous, and with the addition of aggressive enforcement the odds of risk increase.

I am also aware that there is a certain sector of this community that is committed to furthering their hate-filled agenda against myself and my family because 2020 wasn’t your year and I’m not as respectable as you would like your nigroes [sic] in Antioch to be.

Since December 29, 2020, I and my son have been stalked and harassed by individuals in defense of APD and the APOA.

I requested an independent investigation into an officer attempting to run my son off the road that was tainted with false information, accusations, and conflicts of interest. Of which I have made it clear that I didn’t trust the process or then pending results.

Most recently Chief Brooks with the assistance of what he says were several other community members (APOA and Back the blue leaders) accused me and my son of organizing an illegal event (ride out) while demanding information about the event before going to the press or allowing a social media post advertised on my son’s private social media page to be shared with the press furthering this six-month-long assault on my character and my son’s lives. My son’s [sic] who are currently free young black men and are being dragged into court to intimidate me.

One of Torres-Walker’s sons being detained by Antioch Police during the December 2020 incident. Source: Tamisha Torres-Walker

The Chief asked could myself or my son stop the event. I informed him that we had no power to stop an event we are not organizing however I can ask my son not to attend if he was planning to do so. My son then created another post to informed others that if they come the police are ready so either don’t come or be safe whatever you choose (Not his words mine).

Let’s be clear I have no control over what activities any individual especially my grown son decides to share on social media.

Lastly, I know why people are spending their precious time stalking my son’s social media trying to find anything they can to use against me it’s because you want me out in the next election. You lack legitimate evidence to prove your case against my leadership so you go after my children. I am not afraid.

I think that people who would use a person’s childhood grown or otherwise to further a hateful political agenda are disgusting and trifling.

Happy to keep serving Antioch and standing in my truth. I am also looking forward to a healthier relationship with Chief Brooks because working relationships are what this city needs to move us forward.”

Torres-Walker’s post on her council Facebook page on Thursday, June 16, 2021.

A public records act request was made for any and all email communications between the APD and Torres-Walker, as well as any other council members regarding the rideout.

7-21-21 UPDATE: Emails between Torres-Walker and Chief Brooks requested on June 16 finally release. See related article.

 

 

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the attachments to this post:


Torres-Walker’s son’s IG posts


Torres-Walker’s FB page post 061621


Torres-Walker’s son detained in Dec 2021


Thorpe’s Instagram post re rideout


Rideout promo on IG edited


Chief Brooks speaks at rideout press conf 061621


Mayor Thorpe speaks at rideout press conf 061621


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