Contra Costa DA Becton meets with Public Defender, others on Antioch cops’ racist texts, will work to ID compromised cases

By Allen D. Payton

In response to the letter from the Contra Costa Public Defender Ellen McDonnell to DA Diana Becton on Friday, requesting all cases brought by the Antioch Police Department be dismissed and all inmates be released, due to the racist text scandal, a meeting was held Monday afternoon to discuss the matter. (See related articles here, here and here)

DA’s Office PIO Ted Asregadoo sent the following statement “about the meeting that happened at 1 pm today at the DA’s Office”:

“Today, District Attorney Diana Becton, Public Defender Ellen McDonnell, Betty Barker from the Alternate Defender Office, and the Director of the Contra Costa Conflict Program, Oksana Tsykova met to discuss the creation of a process to address cases affected by the disclosure of cruel, racially insulting, and hostile text messages written or received by members of the Antioch Police Department.

The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office is working to identify cases that are potentially compromised by the text messages. Once we’ve identified those cases – and any overlapping conflicts — we will initiate a detailed review process for potential dismissal, resentencing, or the preservation of convictions.

The DA’s Office is working to ensure that public safety and serving the interest of justice are priorities in this process.”

The scandal involves as many as 45 Antioch cops, focusing on 14 and one in particular, with many of them on paid leave during the police department’s own investigation.

McDonnell was asked if she had any comments about the meeting but did not respond prior to publication time.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

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