Archive for September, 2021

Help shape plans for the Antioch Bicycle Garden online, first meeting Oct. 4

Thursday, September 30th, 2021

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Contra Costa health data show COVID cases were on decline before new health orders issued

Wednesday, September 29th, 2021

7-Day Rolling Average Number of New Cases in Contra Costa County April 1-Sept. 19, 2021. Source: CCC Health Services

“Case Rates for unvaccinated people in the county…peaked on Sept. 13, one day before the new health orders were issued.”

“…we are a long way from the levels of community transmission we experienced in spring…” – Contra Costa Health Services spokesman

By Allen Payton

The statistics on the Contra Costa Health Services Coronavirus Dashboard show COVID hospitalizations and cases in the county were already declining before the new health orders by county health officer, Dr. Chris Farnitano, issued them on Sept. 14. While the data trails the report by seven days, as the dashboard states, “data from the last 7 days is still being reported”, all the COVID-related stats continued to decline before the orders went into effect last Wednesday, Sept. 22.

The press release from CCHS on Sept. 15 read, “While the peak of the surge seems to have passed.” But the statistics showed it had passed. (See related article)

Total Contra Costa County Hospitalizations of COVID patients and percentage of all patients Aug. 28-Sept. 26, 2021. Source: CCHS

Hospital Bed Utilization

The 7-Day Average COVID-19 Inpatient Bed Utilization in the county decreased from 11.5% on Sept. 8 to 9.9% by the time the orders were issued on the Sept. 15. That continued to decrease to 8.1% on Sept. 22. They have continued to decrease through Sunday to 7.3% and were on the decrease since Aug. 28 when the percentages were first included in the stats, from 13.6%.

The statistics also show the percentage of COVID inpatient beds to Contra Costa Total Hospitalizations has decreased from a high of 19.4% on Sept. 6 to 10.7% on Sunday, Sept. 26.

In addition, of all the inpatient ICU beds in the county, about one-third have been filled by COVID patients has decreased from a high of 46% to 29% between Aug. 28 and Sept. 26.

New Cases

The Seven Day Rolling Average number of new COVID cases in the county peaked on Sept. 10 at 217.3, almost two weeks before the new health orders went into effect on Wed., Sept. 22.

Contra Costa County Case Rates per 100,000 vaccinated vs unvaccinated April 1 – Sept. 19, 2021. Source: CC Health Services

Case Rates

The Case Rates for unvaccinated people in the county at 40 per 100,000 population and fully vaccinated people at 8.7 peaked on Sept. 13, one day before the new health orders were issued. Both continued to decline through Sept. 19 to 29.6 and 7.4 respectively, three days before the orders went into effect.

Questions for Farnitano & CCHS Staff

In light of that information, Farnitano and health services staff were asked the following questions via email Monday evening: “Why are the latest orders still in place? Are you willing to lift them, now? If not, what else must occur for that to happen?”

Response From CCHS Staff

Karl Fischer, Contra Costa Health Services spokesman responded, “For the past few weeks Contra Costa County’s COVID-19 transmission data have been trending in the right direction after a severe, sudden spike in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths earlier this summer.  

It’s also true that county data remain elevated since that spike, far above where they were when California relaxed its health orders in mid-June. As the press release you quoted correctly points out, our average daily case rate is similar to what we were recording in February, on the downslope of another severe spike. That information is also available on the dashboard 

It is no accident that our county is now trending in the right direction.  

COVID-related public health measures, including recent health orders requiring people to wear masks when visiting indoor public spaces and show proof of vaccination or a recent, negative test result to enter the indoor parts of some high-risk public establishments, are helping to reduce transmission of the virus in our county.  

For example, on Aug. 3, the day our indoor masking health order took effect, the 7-day average number of daily new COVID-19 cases reported in our county was 412. One month later, on Sept. 3, that number had dropped to 245.9.

We hope to see similar improvement in coming weeks from the most recent health order, which took effect just last week. But, as I mentioned, we are a long way from the levels of community transmission we experienced in spring, when the state briefly seemed to be emerging from the pandemic.  

With winter approaching, a season where the spread of respiratory viruses such as COVID-19 is common, we are doing everything we can to prevent another severe surge, most importantly working to increase vaccination rates across our community – to save lives, keep our schools and businesses open, and our hospitals functioning.”

However, as the Dashboard shows, Contra Costa County was already trending in the right direction” two weeks before the new health orders went into effect.

Additional Questions

An additional question was sent late Wednesday afternoon, asking, “since Contra Costa was already significantly trending in the right direction through not just Sept. 3 but it continued through Sept. 22, with just the indoor mask-wearing order, why the need for the additional proof of vaccination or testing mandate? Is it an effort to pressure the unvaccinated to get vaccinated by taking away more of their freedoms?”

09/30/21 UPDATE: CCHS spokesman, Karl Fischer responded, “Contra Costa has made significant progress in lowering the number of new reported cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks. But, as I mentioned in my last response, our transmission data are still substantially far above the levels considered safe by the State of California when it lifted its health order on June 15.

I know you are aware of this information, as it is available on our public dashboard, but our 7-day rolling average number of daily new COVID-19 cases was 152.9 on Sept. 22, compared to 45.3 on June 15. Per capita, on June 15 we averaged 1.5 daily new hospital admissions due to COVID-19 for unvaccinated people, compared to 5.5 on Sept. 22. Contra Costa has a long way to go before it reaches the transmission levels the state considered just safe enough to reopen, just three months ago.

Contra Costa is committed to doing everything in its power to reduce COVID-19 transmission as quickly and effectively as possible – lives depend on it. That is why the county this month added a new, temporary requirement for patrons using the indoor areas of certain establishments where the virus is at high risk of spreading to show proof of vaccination at the door, or a recent, negative test result.

We believe this health order will help our community continue its progress reducing COVID-19 transmission, perhaps even accelerate it, and it may also help to head off another massive holiday surge in cases, hospitalizations and deaths, like the one we experienced last winter.

We encourage anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. Our transmission data are now slowing down thanks to the 80%+ of county residents who have already chosen to get vaccinated, and the willingness of the majority to temporarily endure inconvenience so we all may eventually enjoy living in a community where there is no elevated risk of contracting a deadly but highly preventable disease.

Why No Recovery Documentation Option in Contra Costa?

On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) on Wednesday, introduced the U.S. Air Travel Public Safety Act, a bill that would require all passengers on domestic airline flights to either be fully vaccinated, have recently tested negative for COVID-19 or have fully recovered from COVID-19. According to her office’s press release, “the legislation builds on a current CDC requirement that all air passengers traveling to the United States from a foreign country must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19.”

In response, the additional questions were sent to CCHS staff: “Why isn’t that last option, recovery documentation, being offered to people in Contra Costa to comply with the latest health orders if it’s allowed to be used for people traveling into our country? They aren’t even required to provide proof of vaccination. But we Americans do to participate in something that takes much less time than an international flight. Their plane trips are much longer than an hour which is usually the length of time it takes to have an indoor, sitdown meal. If that’s the science the federal government is following, why isn’t the CCHS also following it?”

Fischer replied, “Contra Costa Health Services did not include a provision for proof of prior infection in the Sept. 14 health order because, in our analysis of available research, we determined that the science remains unsettled around the efficacy or duration of natural immunity following a COVID-19 infection. We do have a better understanding of immunity provided by the available COVID-19 vaccines, thanks to the extensive clinical trials performed to ensure their safety and efficacy before they were made available to the public, and their performance in protecting millions of people worldwide this year.

While it’s true that someone who has COVID-19 must wait 90 days after their infection ends before testing again, they can receive COVID-19 vaccine as soon as their isolation period ends. So, in no case are patrons left without options for using the indoor portions of establishments affected by this order.”

Those who choose not to get the vaccine for one reason, or another will have to take a test and prove negative within three days each time they want to dine indoors at a restaurant, go to the gym, a bar, to the movies or another entertainment venue, such as a bowling alley.

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Antioch Council agrees to form commission on homelessness

Wednesday, September 29th, 2021

Graphic from Unhoused Strategies report. City of Antioch.

By Allen Payton

During their discussion of forming a commission on homelessness, the Antioch City Council was split on when to do so. Proposed by District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker, both District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica and District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock wanted to wait until after the Bridge Housing Task Force is done with its reasons.

Although Torres-Walker said she had proposed a task force, she argued in favor of forming a permanent commission to deal with both homelessness and renters, saying the issue is on-going.

“It can become concurrent with the phasing out of our Bridge Housing Task Force,” said Mayor Lamar Thorpe, offering a compromise to Barbanica and Ogorchock.

He then joined Torres-Walker and Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson in supporting the formation of the commission.

There was no formal vote to form the commission, yet but merely direction to staff that the council wants to form one. Council will still need to decide the number of members on the commission and the proposed purpose and duties of the commission.

A vote to form the commission will be brought back by staff at a future council meeting.

General Public Comments

At the end of the meeting, during general public comments for items not on the agenda, Angelo Quinto’s mother and father, Cassandra Quinto and her husband Robert Collins, called for a third-party investigation of the Antioch Police Department. She claims there was a cover-up regarding the reports by the four officers, whom she named, that interacted with her son last December, after which he ended up in the hospital, where he died three days later.

Regarding Angelo Quinto’s death, the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office stated, “Although the decedent had injuries consistent with a struggle with his family and law enforcement, none of the injuries appeared to be fatal.”

“I will never be silent. I will forever be Angelo’s voice,” his mother added.

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Antioch SWAT helps in multi-agency arrests of two men for illegal guns early Tuesday

Wednesday, September 29th, 2021

Antioch Police Special Weapons And Tactics Team. Photo by APD

By Lieutenant D. Bittner #3252, Community Policing Bureau, Antioch Police Department

On Tuesday, Sept. 28, 21 at approximately 5:00 am, the APD SWAT Team assisted the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the service of two search and arrest warrants. The first search/arrest warrant was served in the 300 block of West 20th Street for Juan Manriquez (20 years old) and the second location was at the Twin Creeks Apartments, 1111 James Donlon Boulevard for Anthony Smith (28 years old) at 6:15 am.

Both of these subjects were wanted on a variety of firearm related charges. Investigators located illegal assault rifle parts, conversion kits and manufacturing tools at the West 20th Street house. Investigators located an illegal handgun with a fully automatic switch and ammunition at the James Donlon apartment. Both subjects were arrested without incident.

According not, Manriquez was also arrested by Antioch Police on July 18, 2020 for being an addict in possession of a firearm, and carrying “a loaded firearm while in a class prohibiting possession.”

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.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Antioch Council splits, denies extending franchise agreement for low-pressure natural gas pipeline through city

Wednesday, September 29th, 2021

Map of the natural gas pipeline that runs through Antioch. Source: City of Antioch

Torres-Walker switches vote from August meeting

Could result in price increases for restaurants, residences; follows lead of Brentwood council

“We believe there are legal protections in place that prevent an arbitrary and immediate shutdown” – CRC spokesman. “The pressures are 50% below the allowable pressures.”

By Allen Payton

What was expected to be a non-controversial matter, turned into a denial on a 2-3 split vote by the Antioch City Council for the extension of a franchise agreement for an existing low-pressure, natural gas pipeline that runs through the city, during their meeting on Sept. 28, 2021. The 35-mile long, 12-inch pipe carries 1.8 million cubic feet of natural gas daily which is enough to supply about 9,000 homes. The result is the city will no longer be paid the annual franchise fee of $16,871.90. Pipeline franchise agrmt extension ACC092821

“I’m appalled that it took three meetings to be here,” said Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson.

“We have been working with the city staff in this manner and we have been prepared to speak on it. The format for the council meetings…have not allowed for that,” a California Resources Corporation (CRC) representative explained. “This is the first time we’ve been given the opportunity to speak.”

“Still, and no disrespect, after the process you went through the City of Brentwood, I would think you would have heard the concerns from council, heard from the concerns from the public,” Wilson continued. “I would think if you went through one city, and it was voted down you would have heard from the council in the next city.”

She added, “it’s a no, for me.”

“This is gas going to restaurants,” someone interjected.

“Environmental injustices exist all around us and they impact frontline communities the most,” Torres-Walker said. “We should also acknowledge that there are dangers under our feet. Moving forward with this extension is dangerous for any community. We need a just transition away from fossil fuels and for that reason I will be voting no on this, today.”

District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock asked about the $2 million not being enough.

“The pressures are 50% below the allowable pressures,” a CRC representative explained. “This is not like San Bruno. The volumes are very low. The natural gases are from sources that are flat and declining. If you believe in a transition…this is declining.”

“We assumed this would be non-controversial to continue doing what we’re doing,” he continued. “If there’s a movement to eliminate fossil fuels in Antioch, I suggest you cut off everyone, restaurants, schools.”

“I’m very concerned but at the same time, we turn our furnaces on, we cook with it,” Barbanica said. “It heats our schools, when we go to restaurants, etc. I’m not happy about it any more than anyone else. But there is a need for it every day.”

“What refinery do they go to?” Wilson asked.

“The Chevron refinery in Richmond,” one of the presenters replied.

“Do we get mitigation for that?” Wilson asked City Manager Ron Bernal.

“This is a lease agreement. We do get compensated for it,” Mayor Lamar Thorpe responded.

“Never mind,” Wilson said.

“On August 24, council listened to staff for an initial reading…extending the term for the franchise agreement,” Thorpe explained. “That was a three-two vote. Councilwoman Wilson and I voted no. The rest voted yes. This is now the third time we’ve heard this. Staff has given us ample time to do this. So, this is where we’re at, today.”

“Thank you for that reminder, mayor and not that many people showed up that day than showed up, today,” Torres-Walker said. “I believe I made the right vote, the first time.”

Barbanica made the motion to introduce by title only for reading only, and to receive public comment for the extension of the lease franchise agreement. Ogorchock seconded.

There was no further discussion and it failed on a 2-3 vote, with Wilson, Torres-Walker and Thorpe voting no.

Brentwood Council Also Votes Down Franchise Agreement Extension

In May 2021, the Brentwood City Council, on a 2-3 voted down that city’s franchise agreement extension. According to a May 14, 2021, report by CBS BayArea the Brentwood council also denied the renewal of a lease for the same long-operating natural gas pipeline even though only a small portion of the line runs through their city.

Questions for City Staff Go Unanswered

Bernal, Attorney Smith and Antioch’s Director of Public Works John Samuelson were asked, what are the implications of the council’s decision to oppose the extension to the franchise agreement for the California Resources Corporation’s natural gas pipeline? Does that mean CRC will have to route the products through another, existing line, or build a new one around Antioch? But they did not respond.

Pipeline Owner Has Rights

In addition, CRC was asked, “What are the implications from the votes by the Antioch City Council, tonight and that of the Brentwood City Council opposing the extension of the pipeline franchise agreement? Will you have to reroute your products through another pipeline or build a new one around Brentwood and Antioch?”

“CRC meets the financial and technical requirements necessary to continue operating the pipeline,” Richard Venn, Communications Director for California Resources Corporation, responded. “We look forward to continuing to work with the city and its staff on how we can continue to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy.”

Follow-up questions were asked of Venn, “how do you get around the council’s vote, last night?” and asked, again, “when the current agreement ends, does that mean CRC can no longer pump their products in the pipeline that runs through Antioch and the same for Brentwood?” In addition, Venn was asked, “or do PUC regulations allow you to continue to do so without the franchise agreements with the cities?”

“We believe there are legal protections in place that prevent an arbitrary and immediate shutdown, and we will continue to work with the city and its staff on the best solution,” Venn responded.

No Responses from California PUC

In addition, the California Public Utilities Commission was asked similar questions, “what are the implications of those decisions?” and “Does that mean CRC will have to route the products through another, existing line, or build a new one around Antioch and Brentwood?” In addition, they were asked, “does the PUC have the authority to overrule the councils’ decisions?” But no one from the agency responded prior to publication time.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

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QuickStop store closes in Sycamore Square will reopen as new brand

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

After 30 years, the QuikStop store in Sycamore Square closed on Sept. 20. But the owner says it will reopen, soon, with a new brand.

Photo by Lamar Thorpe.

By Allen Payton

Less than two months after Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe held a press conference in the Sycamore Square shopping center blaming the businesses and property owner, there for attracting crime to the center, the anchor tenant, QuikStop has closed. The convenience store, located at the corner of Sycamore Drive and L Street, had been in business for two generations serving the neighborhood for almost 30 years. (See related article)

At that time, Thorpe said, “I’m prepared to declare this site a public nuisance and require owners to take the necessary steps to mitigate issues that make it easy for criminal activity to occur on private property.”

Owner, Gorev Maahi Chauhan whose father first opened the business, said, “we closed on the 20th.”

“QuikStop ended their term,” he explained as the reason. “They already told us in January they were going to close the location.”

However, that’s not the end of the story or the store, as it’s just temporary and won’t remain closed.

“We are in contract to open it as something else,” Chauhan stated.

He said they “expect to reopen within a week to 10 days and rebrand the store.”

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Antioch Council, police department, others honor outgoing Police Chief Brooks, offers his final remarks to staff, community

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

Police Chief Tammany Brooks takes his final walk from the Antioch Police Facility on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, as members of his department’s staff applaud. Screenshot of APD video.

Takes final walk from APD Facility as staff members line up to say good-bye; Torres-Walker absent from council meeting during time they honored Brooks

By Allen Payton

During their meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, the Antioch City Council honored recently retired Police Chief Tammany Brooks, who is taking a new position as Deputy Chief in Boise, ID. Brooks, who joined the online meeting, was also honored by Supervisors Federal Glover and Diane Burgis, as well as State Senator Steve Glazer who offered their remarks, and will present the outgoing chief with resolutions. The councilmembers then offered their remarks of appreciation, as well, with Mayor Lamar Thorpe pointing out Brooks was the city’s first African American police chief. District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker was absent during that portion of the meeting. She had previously posted her remarks about his retirement on her official Facebook page, which were included in a Herald article. (See related articles here and here)

Brooks then offered his thanks to the police department staff and the community. He said he leaves for Boise, Wednesday morning. Two members of the public also offered their comments, one thanking Brooks for and the other critical of his service.

A question was sent to Torres-Walker, while the meeting was being held, why she was absent during the time the council honored Brooks, if it was intentional to send a message or if she had something else she had to deal with at that time.

During the Sept. 28th Antioch City Council meeting outgoing Chief Tammany Brooks (bottom left) was honored by county Supervisor Federal Glover (bottom right) and State Senator Steve Glazer (center right). He was also honored by Supervisor Diane Burgis who sent a prepared video.

Brooks Honored by APD Staff

Last Thursday, Sept. 23, Brooks offered his final farewell remarks to the police department’s staff over the loudspeaker of a patrol car, in front of the Antioch Police Facility. He then took his final walk from the building he worked in for almost 26 years, while staff members, lining both sides of the sidewalk gave him an ovation. (See videos here and here)

Brooks’ Final Remarks to His Staff

“I consider myself truly blessed,” Brooks stated. “Not because I’ve had the honor to be a police officer for the past 26 years, but because I’ve been privileged to work alongside of the Antioch Police Department family.

During my time, here I’ve worked alongside some of the best in the business. I’ve learned so much over the years and am eternally grateful to everyone who has supported and encouraged me throughout my career.

It has been my honor to serve as your police chief. I worked to create a culture that valued compassion, accountability, professionalism and integrity. I tried to inspire, challenge, motivate, and most of all, support everyone to succeed and grow. Not by showing you how great I was, but by showing you how great you are and how great we are.

The success we’ve shared did not come through the absence of opposition or failure. But because of our persistence despite it.

Thank you for putting your trust in me to be your leader. I hope I gave this police department and this city as much as I received. I hope I made you proud.

Letting go of this place is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, and although this is not how or when I envisioned my time, here to end, I leave staying true to my authentic self, without compromising my values due to political pressures or agendas, and always doing what I thought was right and in the best interests of the police department and the city.

I leave on a positive note knowing this agency will continue to have a stellar reputation within our profession and the community we serve. With strong leadership in place and a culture second-to-none this police department and the residents of Antioch are in good hands.

Thank you everyone and know I will always love you.”

He finished by saying “Adam 1, 10-7OD,” his call sign and the code which means “out of service, off duty”.

A response was offered by Lead Dispatcher Nahleen Cloninger.

“Adam 1, the men and women of the Antioch Police Department want to sincerely thank you for your 26 years of selfless service to our department and the community – a career that started in 1995 when you were sworn in as an officer and culminating with you becoming our police chief in 2017.

Over the course of your career, you have demonstrated your excellent leadership qualities, a love for your profession and all of those around you. You promoted the spirit of family in the department and made Antioch PD a place people wanted to be.

You are one of the most respected and loved chiefs this department has ever had.

The loss of your presence will be immense. But your leadership has prepared us for the challenges ahead.

We will miss you and wish you the very best in your retirement and your new endeavors.

While you will be gone, your legacy will remain. Good luck and Godspeed.”

“We all love you and good luck,” another officer stated over the loudspeaker.

Brooks then walked down the sidewalk between two lines of the department’s staff.

“Nothing to see, here” he joked as he walked, then giving his final remarks. “Thank you all, very much. It has truly been my honor and I appreciate every single one of you. I’m going to shut up, now. Thank you all.”

Farewell Message from APD

In addition, the department’s staff posted their final comments to Brooks on the APD Facebook page on Monday, Sept. 27 along with a video with photos of both the ceremony and from throughout his career. (See video here)

“The women and men of the Antioch Police Department want to sincerely thank you, Chief Tammany Brooks, for your 26 years of selfless service to our department and the community. A career that started in 1995 when you were sworn in as an officer and culminating with you becoming our Police Chief in 2017.

Over the course of your career, you have demonstrated your excellent leadership qualities, a love for the profession, and all those around you. You promoted the spirit of family in the department and made Antioch PD a place people wanted to be.

You are one of the most respected and loved Chiefs this department has ever had. The loss of your presence will be immense, but your leadership has prepared us for the challenges ahead. We will miss you and wish you the very best in retirement and in your new endeavors. While you will be gone your legacy will remain, good luck and God speed.”

A final message from the department staff was offered at the end of their video, reading, “Thank you for being our Police Chief. We will miss you and wish you the very best in retirement and in your new endeavors. Good luck and God speed.”

Council Proclamation

Following is the council’s approved proclamation: Proclamation Honoring Chief Brooks ACC092821





WHEREAS, Tammany Brooks was first hired by the City of Antioch as a Patrol Officer

in December of 1995, launching a professional journey through the ranks of the

Antioch Police Department that reached the apex of Police Chief;

WHEREAS, Chief Tammany Brooks’ commitment to the community and natural

calling to lead have been demonstrated over decades as a Police Corporal from

2002 to 2005, Police Sergeant from 2005 to 2012, Police Lieutenant

from 2012 to 2014, Police Captain from 2014 to 2017,

and Chief of Police from 2017 to 2021;

WHEREAS, Chief Tammany Brooks earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public

Administration from the University of San Francisco and a Master’s

degree in Leadership from St. Mary’s College;

WHEREAS, Chief Tammany Brooks is a graduate of the Senior Management

Institute for Police (SMIP), as well as the Federal Bureau

of Investigations National Academy – Class 263;

WHEREAS, Chief Tammany Brooks is honored and revered by the Antioch Police

Department for his unwavering support and recognition of the rank and file

as family and the sincere mission to protect and serve, as well as

improve the quality of life for all of Antioch’s residents;

WHEREAS, Chief Tammany Brooks is a dedicated public servant who has earned

the respect and admiration of City employees, peer agencies, community

stakeholders and Antioch residents for his ability to leverage

resources, collaborate, cooperate, and innovate;

WHEREAS, Chief Tammany Brooks emphasized and enhanced Police and

Community relations through meaningful programs like the Citizens

and Youth Academies, as well as hosted events like the Halloween

Haunted House at the Police Department, Holiday Food

Drive and Adopt-a-Family; and

WHEREAS, the City of Antioch wishes to recognize Chief Tammany Brooks

for 26 years of professionalism and service to the people of Antioch,

and express its heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for

his many contributions upon retirement.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, LAMAR A. THORPE, Mayor of the City of Antioch,

do hereby honor Police Chief Tammany Brooks for twenty-six years of

dedicated public service to our community, and wish him a

healthy and fulfilling next chapter.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2021

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

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Antioch Police Oversight Committee recommends policy banning restrains that can cause asphyxia on 5-0 vote

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

Video screenshot of the Sept. 28, 2021 meeting of the Antioch Police Oversight Standing Committee which includes all five council members, and attended by City Attorney Thomas L. Smith (bottom left), City Manager Ron Bernal (bottom center), Acting Police Chief Tony Morefield (center right) and Lt. Joseph Vigil (bottom right).

Acting as city council, the members will vote on the recommendation at a future council meeting; postpones other items to future meeting

“…this is a good policy, this is a reasonable policy, it is a common-sense policy,” – Chair Torres-Walker

By Allen Payton

During the Antioch Police Oversight Standing Committee meeting, consisting of all five council members, Tuesday afternoon, they voted to recommend to themselves at a future council meeting, a policy banning restraints that could cause positional asphyxia. However, before final adoption, they agreed to meet and confer with the Antioch Police Officers Association (APOA), and bring back two copies, the one adopted Tuesday and a red-lined copy with any changes that might be proposed. Proposed Positional Asphyxia Policy ACC-POSC 092821

Due to time constraints, the committee postponed discussion of the other two items on the agenda, the process for hiring a new police chief, and the department’s use of force policy. (See related article)

Policy Banning Positional Asphyxia

They received reports from Acting Police Chief Tony Morefield, with Lt. Joseph Vigil in attendance, on the proposed restraint ban policy.

“Does this interpretation in anyway prevent officers from performing their duties?” asked District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica.

“There is language in this policy that will create complications with officers on the ground,” Morefield stated.

“Prone handcuffing is going to be…a potential issue,” Barbanica said. “That stood out to me…if the policy stays as is.”

He suggested a meet and confer with the APOA and to tighten up the language.

“We arrived at the language…allowing officers, as reasonably necessary, to use prone handcuffing,” Morefield said. “It’s always about keeping the public safe, officers safe.”

“We will meet with the POA before the final copy comes before the council,” City Attorney Thomas L. Smith said.

“How does PD develop a policy, normally?” Ogorchock asked.

“There are usually two mechanisms for developing policy. Although Lexipol offers standardized policy, all our policies are custom-made,” Morefield responded. “Lexipol provides updates. Any time there is a change in law, we will accept those updates. There’s also best practices. But is that the way we do business in Antioch?”

“When developing a policy from scratch…speaking of the bodyworn camera policy, patrol, records, investigation and dispatch, we did a nation-wide search for existing policy on the matter,” Morefield explained. “We found the best policy on that we could. We also had a representative from POA sit in on that. We adopted the best policy we could find that’s best for our agency. We run that policy against several criteria, public safety, officer safety, best practices, law and liability.”

Public Comments Get Emotional

Some public comments wanted more public input for development of the policy before it is adopted.

Comments included those by his father, mother, sister and other family members.

His father said all bodyweight restraints should be banned “unless there’s a high-level threat”. Quinto was attacking his mother at the time his sister called 9-1-1 and she said he had a hammer in his hand which she took from him.

His mother, speaking through tears during her call-in comments, said the proposed “policy is inadequate” and that if the restraints mentioned in the proposed policy had not been used “my son would still be alive.” She ended her comments crying heavily. Quinto’s sister spoke, next while the cries of her mother could be heard in the background. She agreed with the policy in general but wanted changes to it, saying that even Lexipol had challenges with some of the policies developed using their online sample policies.

They and others continued the disproven accusation against four Antioch officers that Angelo Quinto died as a result of a knee-to-kneck restraint. He died in the hospital three days after the incident. According to the coroner’s report, “a full examination of the neck revealed there was no evidence of strangulation or crushed airway” and that “there were no fractures of the skull, torso, or extremities.” Finally, the Coroner’s Office stated, “Although the decedent had injuries consistent with a struggle with his family and law enforcement, none of the injuries appeared to be fatal.”

During a March 2nd press conference, then-Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks said, “at one point during the handcuffing, an officer did briefly – for a few seconds – have a knee across a portion of Angelo’s shoulder blade. This is a common control technique taught at CA POST approved Police Academies for prone handcuffing.  At no point did any officer use a knee or any other body part to gain leverage or apply pressure to Angelo’s head, neck, or throat, which is outside our policy and training.” (See related article)

In addition, according to a KTVU News report, Quinto “succumbed to excited delirium and prescription drugs during the physical altercation with officers, the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office.”

The family has filed a wrongful death suit against the four officers and the City.

Council Discussion and Vote

“I will say that given that this process has never existed in the City of Antioch, before, this is a good policy, this is a reasonable policy, it is a common-sense policy and was developed in collaboration,” Tamisha Torres-Walker said. “I’m pretty impressed at how far we’ve been able to come with this particular policy.”

Mayor Lamar Thorpe spoke next. ‘This is new for the City of Antioch so, I’m very pleased at the engagement with this council.” He called for “a real police oversight commission that is independent of the council.”

Thorpe then moved approval of the draft policy.

“I’ll second, but I have some clarifying questions,” Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson said.

“We all agree we need a policy on this. Although good work has been done on this, it feels like it has been rushed. Before we decide, I’d like to meet and confer with the APOA, then come back,” Barbanica stated. “Are we really meeting and conferring or just satisfying the rule? I appreciate, again the work that was done. I just think we need some language cleanup.”

“If we did move it forward to council, after we meet and confer, we would bring back two copies, one red-lined…that would include any edits we’re recommending,” Attorney Smith said. “Plus, the version you pass, today.”

“I would be OK with that,” Barbanica responded.

“Going back to the recovery position, you stated either side or seated. When is the judgement made for when you bring someone to side or seated position?”

“Preferably we get someone to a seated position,” Morefield responded. “It really comes down to compliance. More folks we get into handcuffs, the quicker we get to the seated…recovery position. It’s too easy to stand up. We get them on their stomach, on their side, then seated then standing.”

Thorpe then said, “I’m ready to vote. I’m fine with the redlining and bring back to council.”

The motion passed on a 5-0 vote.

Moved Other Items to Next Committee Meeting

With the meeting getting close to 5:00 p.m. when the council’s closed session was to begin, before the regular meeting at 7:00 p.m., the members voted to postpone the remaining items to the next standing committee meeting, which is scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of October.

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