Antioch Police provide details of three arrests during protest that turned violent at farewell event for Chief Brooks Friday night

Protester, Shagoofa Khan is arrested by Antioch Police Officers, as fellow protester, Lacey Brown with megaphone, looks on and other officers arrest another protester, Frank Sterling (on ground in back) during the Sunset Sendoff for Chief T Brooks Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. Photos by Allen Payton unless noted.

Police will review videos, body cam footage, more charges may be filed; conflicting accounts of what occurred; charges filed by event organizer, attendee, protester who claim to be injured; Captain Morefield to become Acting Chief of Police

By Allen Payton

A two-hour, farewell event honoring retiring Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks at Williamson Ranch Park, Friday night, was attended by five or six protesters, for about 15 minutes, and resulted in three of them being arrested for assault, assault on a police officer, interfering with an arrest and resisting arrest. The protesters, at least four of whom have been making the same accusations against the chief and the police department at other protests over the past year-and-a-half, repeated their complaints about the December 2020 incident with Angelo Quinto, as well as Brooks’ 2019 hiring of Officer Michael Mellone who fatally shot a knife-wielding homeless man on meth in 2016, while Mellone worked as a San Francisco Police Officer. (See related articles here, here and here)

The protesters were holding signs and yelling their messages, both with and without the use of a megaphone, as they stood on one side of the event, nearby those in attendance, while presentations from different groups and individuals were being made to Brooks. As people were taking photos with Brooks and shaking his hand, the protesters then attempted to move closer to him. Those in attendance moved in to block the protester’s access, while dancing to music from the band performing on the stage.

Event Organizer Claims She Was Kicked In Bad Knee

According to event organizer, Velma Wilson who had a knee replacement and walks with a cane, one of the protesters kicked her in her bad leg.

“It was either Shagoofa (Khan) or Lacey (Brown aka Ferguson on Facebook),” Wilson said.

As of Monday, Wilson said she was still in pain and that her doctor said she might need emergency surgery. She said she has to ice her knee and that it’s hard to get a good X-ray because her knee was so swollen.

“Iris Archuleta and I walked over to the protesters and tried to speak to them peacefully, but they started yelling at us. That’s when I walked away,” Wilson said. “Then they walked over toward us and yelled at us through their megaphone. Lacey started twerking up on me. When she realized she wasn’t going to be able to get me to move, that’s when she kicked me. If you see in the video at the point where the banner fell, that’s when I got kicked.”

Wilson said she has pressed charges against Brown.

Khan Gives General Denial

Asked if she, Brown or any of the other protesters kicked Wilson and if so, was it intentional, Khan responded simply, “A lot of the stuff you’re hearing is lies.”

Megaphone Use

At one point Brown was yelling through the megaphone at close range of those in attendance, including Denise Cantrell, who turned and tried to grab the megaphone strap to take it away from Brown and get her to stop.

Then, as several uniformed officers were lined up shaking hands with Brooks’ and offering their farewells, as videos appear to show, Khan, grabbed and took Cantrell’s phone. As Cantrell attempted to retrieve her phone, officers responded, Khan then struck Cantrell in the face, causing a small wound, and a swollen, bruised cheek. Officers and others restrained Cantrell while other officers pursued Khan.

Denise Cantrell shows her cut and bruised cheek she claims to have sustained after a protester struck her in the face, during thee event. Photo provided by DCantrell.

Cantrell Shares Her Side

Cantrell confirmed what the videos appear to show.

“The protesters had an attitude toward me from the start because I was filming them,” Cantrell said. “Shagoofa snatched my phone out of my hand, she backed up and then threw it at me. I didn’t charge at her for no reason. I was trying to get my phone back. Then when the officer grabbed my shoulders, she took a swing at me, sucker punched me and hit me in the face with her cell phone. At first, I didn’t know what she did with it. Someone brought me my phone while Shagoofa was being arrested.”

Regarding trying to grab the megaphone from Brown, Cantrell denies scratching her.

“I didn’t touch her,” she said. “I have no nails. I work on plants.”

“I admit I grabbed the strap of her megaphone,” Cantrell stated. “That was after she was screaming in our ears, including Chief Brooks’ mom who was right in front of us.”

“My left ear still hurts and is throbbing, three days later,” she added.

“You’re not supposed to yell in people’s ears. It’s disturbing the peace and violates state law,” Cantrell stated.

“Now, I’m getting death threats because of their lies on Twitter,” she added. “From Black Lives Matter people, and I’m Black.”

Asked if she’s reported them to the police, Cantrell responded, “Yes. I had two officers, here at my home, today.”

“In all my 10 years of living in Antioch, I’ve never been involved in anything like this,” she shared.

Cantrell said that she has pressed charges against Khan.

Protester Frank Sterling arrested following struggle with several Antioch Police Officers

Another Protester Arrested

Another protester, Frank Sterling, tried to interfere with the officers’ arrest of Khan, and he was then taken to the ground by several officers. As Sterling struggled with them, one officer could be heard saying, “get your hands behind your back” and “stop fighting” and one officer pulled out his taser and apparently used it on Sterling.

As Khan was simultaneously being arrested, Brown approached the officers and closely yelled at them through the megaphone. One officer told her to stop, pointing his finger at her.

Protester Brown Offers Her Viewpoint

Asked about Wilson’s claims, Brown said, “That’s completely false.” Asked if one of the other protesters kicked Wilson and if so, was it unintentional, Brown replied, “I was the only one next to Velma and I didn’t touch her.”

“They formed a line to block us, and they did that by dancing, so I danced with them,” she continued. “At no time did my feet leave the ground or kick anyone.”

Protester Lacey Brown is taken to the ground by an Antioch Police Officer during the event.

When Khan was being arrested, she dropped her phone. As she was being walked away, backward by two officers, Khan yelled at Brown, “get my phone, get my phone” and “take video”. Brown picked up Khan’s phone off the grass, and then she was stopped by officers. One officer said to Brown, “I told you not to cross the line”.

“I ran up to the phone, and you can hear me say (in a Facebook Live video on Khan’s page) ‘I got it’. I picked up Shagoofa’s phone and the officer grabbed me,” said Brown. But she’s not sure if Khan’s video was ever uploaded to Facebook.

“They didn’t say get on the ground. They didn’t say anything,” Brown continued. “He ran up behind me, he grabbed my arms from behind, then he turned me, put his leg in front of mine to trip me and pushed me to the ground.”

“The line of police was in front of Frank (Sterling),” she explained. “They were in a completely different area. There were no police between me and Shagoofa’s phone.”

“They also took the phone in my pocket, as evidence,” Brown pointed out. “At no point was my phone recording at all.”

Asked if her phone was returned to her, Brown said, “not yet. I asked for it, today. They don’t have a warrant for it, by the way.”

“Even with Denise (Cantrell) coming up on me, I was intentionally avoiding contact with anybody,” she added.

“The megaphone was pointed upward, and I was talking to Tammany the entire time, unless someone pulled it down,” Brown explained. “Denise was following me intentionally to get in front of the megaphone. She was trying to take it.”

“I pressed charges against her for battery because while swiping at me trying to grab the megaphone, she scratched my arms and grabbed my shirt,” Brown said. “I also filed a complaint against the officers who watched her assault me multiple times and did nothing.”

“What Shagoofa did, as Denise was putting her phone in Kathryn’s (another protester’s) face, was trying to place her hand in front of Denise’s phone,” Brown stated. “Shagoofa did not take her phone. She had her own phone in her hand.”

She’s claiming that’s what might have struck Cantrell’s face. However, Brown said, “it was after Denise charged at her.”

“I’m saying that whatever physical interaction there was, is in this video (referring to a slowed down version of the 13-minute video),” she continued. “Shagoofa didn’t touch her.”

Brown claimed, “what started it was Denise yelling ‘f…  you’ at Kathryn, and that she didn’t care about with Kathryn’s son who had died” (which Kathryn was yelling about, claiming it occurred during an incident with Antioch Police).

Cantrell denies using that language and instead said, “I said what they were talking about had nothing to do with the chief’s going away event.”

Videos of Incident (WARNING: explicit language)

A 13-minute video was posted on YouTube. But it was edited, with the sound off during some portions, and shows a break in the footage. It was during one of those portions that Khan could be heard at one point yelling, Chief Brooks had promoted three officers the council had directed him not to promote. (That has stirred up questions of how she knows that, and which council member or members told her, when that was never discussed by the council during public meetings. Such personnel matters are dealt with in closed session).

An additional video of the incident was posted on Cantrell’s Facebook page.

A gift from the Antioch Backs Our Blue Facebook group was presented by members Nicole Cedano and Kathy Cabrera to Chief Brooks during the Sunset Sendoff.

Chief Brooks offers thanks to his wife, Michelle and son, Tammany IV. Video screenshot.

Event Continues

The event continued with Brooks offering his remarks, thanking a variety of people who helped him during his 26-year career in Antioch, including his wife, Michelle, son Tammany IV, mother and sister – who were all in attendance, as well as his two captains, Tony Morefield and Trevor Schnitzius. That was followed by a BBQ dinner and dessert, and then a slide show of photos from his life and police career, plus the video from the police department lip-sync challenge a few years ago. (See videos here, here and here)

Morefield will become the city’s acting chief of police, following Brooks’ departure early next month. Although retiring from the APD, Brooks has accepted a new position as Deputy Police Chief of Boise, Idaho. (See related articles here and here)

Please see more photos of the event on the Antioch Herald Facebook page.

Police Provide Arrest Details, Will Review Body Cam Footage, More Charges May Be Filed

Antioch Police Sgt. Green said two of the protesters, “Shagoofa Khan and Lacey Brown, were cite released for assault and resisting arrest.”

A third protester, “Frank Sterling, was booked into county jail for assault on a peace officer and attempted lynching,” Green continued. That means Sterling interfered with the arrest of another person which is a felony. (However, according to a CBS News report, that term was removed from state penal code 405a as the result of a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015 and the crime is no longer referred to that way).

“Things may be subject to change, now that a more complete video of what happened is available,” Green stated. “Fortunately for us, we have all the body cam video and there were several officers there. Now, we will review all the body cam videos and after that’s done more charges might be added. That will be determined between investigations and the DA’s office.”

“We also want to make sure our officers were within policies, as well,” he added. “The investigation is ongoing

Referred to as disturbing the peace, California Penal Code 415, section (2) prohibits a person from maliciously and willfully disturbing another person by loud and unreasonable noise. Yelling through a megaphone at close range to someone’s ears could easily fall under that prohibition. In addition, section (3) prohibits a person from using “offensive words in a public place which are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction”, as the video shows the protesters were doing.

About use of the megaphone, Sgt. Green said, “There are warning labels on those megaphones that it will cause permanent hearing damage.”

the attachments to this post:

Gift presented to Chief Brooks 091721

Denise Cantrell’s cut & bruised cheek 091721

Chief Brooks speaks as his wife & son look on 091721

Arrest of SKhan by APD LBrown with megaphone 091721

Arrest of Shagoofa Khan by APD 091721

Arrest of Frank Sterling by APD 091721

Arrest Lacey Brown 091721

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