Archive for the ‘Police & Crime’ Category

Antioch man wanted for felony domestic violence surrenders following six-hour stand-off with police Wednesday

Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

An officer in the top of the Antioch Police Department’s MRAP vehicle shot multiple non-lethal rounds into the Aster Drive apartment where the suspect had barricaded himself on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. Photos by Allen Payton

Threatened to kill one officer and his family then barricaded himself in an apartment; no gunshots fired

By Allen Payton

What started out as a 9-11 call for domestic violence turned into a six-hour stand-off that ended peacefully, as a wanted Antioch man surrendered to police Wednesday evening. The suspect was accused by his girlfriend, with whom he has a child, of beating her, led police on a brief high-speed chase and then barricaded himself inside an apartment on Aster Drive, Wednesday morning. The 46-year-old man who lives at the complex, finally gave himself up after hours of negotiations and non-lethal shots fired by Antioch SWAT, and was arrested on multiple charges.

He also threatened to kill an Antioch Police Officer, who he identified, as well as the officer’s family.

Argument With Girlfriend Leads to Violence

According to Antioch Police Sgt Brian Rose, on Wednesday morning, “the suspect’s girlfriend called the police to tell us there was a domestic violence incident. They have a five-year-old child together. Earlier in the day they got into an argument, and he hit her in the head and face several times and choked her to the point she almost lost consciousness.”

“He said he had a gift for her and left and came back with a pistol,” Rose continued. “He struck her one time in the area of her left shoulder with the gun. She then fled the apartment on Aster Drive and called us.”

SWAT waits for instructions before heading upstairs to the apartment.

Suspect Threatens to Kill Police Officer & Family

“The suspect sent a text message to the victim that he would kill an Antioch Police Officer, mentioned the specific officer and included a photo of that officer’s business card in the text message, and to kill his family, too,” Rose stated. “Because of that information, an officer decided to wait in the front of the police facility in case the suspect showed up. He then drove in front and was driving erratically. Officers had his photo and description of his car, then pursued him from near the police facility to the apartment complex on Aster Drive
Asked if the police knew the suspect, Rose responded, “Yes, we’ve had previous contact with him.”

“The suspect drove to the side of the complex, got out of the car, ran into the apartment and barricaded himself in at about 11:30 am,” Rose explained. “The SWAT team arrived about 3:30 pm and deployed chemical agents into the apartment. Attempted negotiations were ongoing throughout the six hours facilitated by our crisis negotiations team who are specially trained.”

Multiple non-lethal shots were fired by an officer from the top of the department’s MRAP vehicle and a loud siren and announcement could be heard stating, “You’re surrounded. We have a warrant for your arrest. Come out with your hands above your head.”

According to a neighbor who said she witnessed it, “police threw a tear gas canister into the room where the suspect was and he threw it back out.”

SWAT Goes In, Suspect Surrenders

SWAT went upstairs to the apartment at about shortly after 5:00 p.m. and multiple loud shots could be heard.

“There were no gunshots fired. What people heard were light sound devices also known as flash bangs used to disorient the suspect or chemical agents that produced smoke,” Rose explained.

The Antioch SWAT heads upstairs to the apartment where the suspect had barricaded himself in as other officers watch as they stand near residents who were also watching the incident unfold.

The suspect could then be seen through the open upstairs sliding glass door talking with the officer in the top of the MRAP.

“The suspect ended up coming out of the apartment about 5:18 pm,” Rose shared. “He came out peacefully, followed orders with his hands up and was taken into custody without any physical force.”

“He was arrested for felony domestic violence, assault with a firearm of a person which is also a felony, and for assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injury because he choked the victim, and another felony of criminal threats because he threatened to kill the victim and obstructing the police,” Rose stated. “We never found a gun and no, he didn’t fire any shots at the police.”

Asked for the suspect’s name, he responded, “we are not releasing the suspect’s name at this time.”

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After weeks of waiting, wrangling with city staff, emails between Torres-Walker and Chief Brooks on rideout released

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Instagram post by Antioch District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker’s adult son, Yomani, promoting the rideout planned for Sunday, June 20th in Antioch and offering to provide the location for those who would direct message him. (Edited due to profanity) (Herald file screenshot)

Show her resistance to helping stop son from promoting illegal dirt bike ride on city streets; same son who fled police during incident in December

By Allen Payton

Following a Public Records Act request on June 16 for the email communication between Antioch District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker and Antioch Police Chief T Brooks regarding the planned rideout that one of her sons was promoting and possibly organizing on social media, City Attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith finally released them last Wednesday evening, July 14. _Emails to & from TBrooks & TTorres-Walker

Smith at first claimed attorney client privilege and provided several state codes to support it. However, the Herald researched and cited those codes in a response email, pointing out to him that nothing in the codes mentions any other city staff member but refers only to an attorney. The Herald asked Smith if he was included in the emails between Brooks and Torres-Walker and any other council member regarding the rideout. He did not respond. A further email was sent to Brooks and City Manager Ron Bernal asking the same question. Rather than responding, Smith released the emails to the Herald, later that day.

Torres-Walker Less Than Fully Cooperative Frustrating Brooks

The emails show resistance from Torres-Walker to Brooks’ request that she talk to her adult son, Yomani, to get him to stop organizing and promoting the event planned for Sunday, June 20, m on his Instagram account under the name “its_kyd”. At first she agreed to talk to him about it, But later Torres-Walker claimed he was not organizing the event nor knew who was, didn’t know where it would be held and that she didn’t think she talking to him would help.

Yomani is her same son who fled police during a pursuit of him and his younger brother who were riding off-road vehicles on A Street on December 29, 2020. That incident resulted in a 9-minute online video post by the councilwoman and has been under investigation by an outside firm hired by the police department at her request. The investigators report has yet to be released. (See related article)

Brooks first email to her on June 14 with the subject line “Need Your Help Please” reads in part:

“Good afternoon Councilmember Torres-Walker,

Several people have contacted me in regards to an illegal event planned to take place in Antioch this Sunday. Please see the attached screenshot advertising the event, which I’m being told is from your son Yomani’s Instagram account. These types of events are not only dangerous but illegal as well.

Some who are aware of this event (and your son’s alleged involvement) have mentioned wanting to notify local media outlets. I have asked that this not happen, but instead, allow me to stop the event from even occurring. My primary goal is to prevent this dangerous activity from taking place in our city. But I also hope to avoid any type of negative attention this would garner from the public (on you as an elected official, and us as a city) as well.

I am asking for your help to get this event canceled. Prevention is my first and ultimate goal. However, if you are unable to help, we will assemble a special enforcement detail using officers on overtime and seeking mutual aid help from neighboring agencies to address the public safety concern this event will create. We will take a zero-tolerance approach to any/all violations, resulting in arrests and towed vehicles for those participating. I would like to avoid this if at all possible.

Please let me know if you can help. I greatly appreciate it.”

He also shared screenshots of posts by Yomani on his Instagram page, previously shared by the Herald.

Torres-Walker responded in an email to Brooks that evening, and copied Bernal, Mayor Lamar Thorpe and Public Information Officer Rolando Bonilla, with the following:

“Hello Chief Brooks,

Thank you for the email. I was not aware of this event and my son has never organized such an event. It looks like he may have shared an event that was organized by someone else on his personal social media page which is not illegal.

I have no power to stop this but I will talk to my son about not attending because I want him to be safe and I understand that once the police engage in these kinds of events people will and have been gravely injured and/or arrested.

Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.”

Brooks responded that same evening with another email to Torres-Walker:

“Thank you for your response.

I agree with you that these events are extremely dangerous. Injuries can be sustained by participants, spectators, innocent members of the public who are completely unattached to the event itself, and even officers who are assaulted by those who violently resist and/or use their vehicles as weapons against them.

I did not say your son was organizing the event – I said he was advertising it. I hoped that he or they could speak to the organizers and ask them not to bring this event to our community. It is not welcomed here.

Since you do not have the power to stop it, but would still like to help, I’ll ask that you please find out from your son where this event is scheduled to take place and provide me this information? His post says he knows where this is going to occur, and having this information ahead of time would greatly benefit us to secure the area and hopefully deter potential participants from stopping in the first place. Preventing the group from congregating/organizing would greatly reduce any likelihood of confrontation, making it safer for all.

Thank you in advance for helping us work to prevent this dangerous event from occurring in our city.”

Torres-Walker responded, once again, about a half-hour later, attempting to turn it around on police, with a brief reference to the incident in December, and those who had informed Brooks about her son’s social media posts for the June 20th planned rideout. She wrote:

“Hello Chief Brooks,

I get it and my son knows what it’s like to have someone use their vehicle as a weapon to harm him.

It seems like the location is never shared ahead of the day of the event so even if I wanted to help with that request I couldn’t.

Maybe the informants that are reporting activity on my son’s social media page can use their investigative skills to find out who is organizing the event and request the location.

I will talk to my son but since he is not organizing the event and has no idea who is I’m not sure that will help either.

Have a good evening,”

Torres-Walker’s son’s IG 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 and after she apparently had spoken with him. (Herald file screenshots)

The following morning, Tuesday, June 15, Brooks sent an email to Bernal, Thorpe and Bonilla showing additional posts on social media by Yomani on his Instagram account with the words “Stop Snitching” and other posts warning those who might participate in the rideout to “Keep yo head ona swivel” to look out for police during the rideout.

A frustrated Brooks wrote in that email:

“All,

I have no intention on responding to Councilmember Torres-Walker’s below email. It is unfortunate that she is taking this stance and refusing to help prevent a dangerous event such as this from occurring in our city. Although she claims her son is not involved, it is clear from the original screenshot I included to start this conversation that is not true. To further evidence this, please see the below screenshots that her son posted last night. Obviously Councilmember Torres-Walker informed him of my request. But instead of helping prevent the dangerous event and negative publicity it will bring us as a city, it has appeared to embolden him and he has doubled down on his messaging to continue on with the event as planned. Not only will this cost the city taxpayers’ money in unnecessary police overtime, it is endangering the lives of those illegally riding on our streets, the innocent motorists on our roadways, and the officers tasked with trying to enforce the laws being willfully disregarded. This type of behavior is not good for our community.

T”

The following day, Wed., June 16, Thorpe and Brooks held a press conference about the rideout, asking people not to participate and warning them of a multi-agency effort, fines and $3,000 impound fees, should they be caught. During that press conference, 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.” (See related article)

The warnings appear to have worked, as the planned rideout did not occur that Sunday.

Challenge Obtaining Emails

By state law, government officials have 10 business days to release records requested by either the media or public. However, agencies can postpone the release by up to an additional 14 calendar days under certain circumstances. It took four weeks for Attorney Smith to release the requested emails.

On June 30th Lynn Dansie, the Police Records Supervisor, sent a letter to the Herald which read, “At the request of the City Attorney we have been asked to extend our response time…for up to 14 additional calendar days, in order to search for and collect records from a separate office/unit holding the information requested. You will be notified with a response to your request on our before, July 12, 2021.” (See              )

Asked what separate office/unit was holding the information and are all communications between city staff and council members done through their official city email accounts, neither Dansie nor Smith responded.

Then on July 1, the Herald made an additional request of all emails between Attorney Smith and council members about the rideout.

On July 8, Dansie emailed another letter that read, “Per the City Attorney, records requested are not releasable at this time. The records requests are being denied under GC (government code) 6254(k) as well as the attorney client privilege under EC 954 and attorney work product privilege under Cal. Code Civ. Pro. 2018.030(a).”

Asked if the letter applied to all emails, Dansie responsed, “The codes of GC 6254(k), EC 954 and Cal Code Civ Pro 2018.030(a) are applicable to both of the records requests involving emails.”

This reporter responded on July 13 with the following, which included citing the language from the sections of those government codes:

“Thomas,

Were you included in the emails between Chief Brooks and Councilwoman Torres-Walker or any other member of the APD staff and any council member regarding the planned rideout on June 20, 2021?

Because I researched the codes provided in Lynn’s email sent yesterday, and if not, then those codes do not apply as they mention nothing about any other person, only an attorney, and you therefore must release the emails to me…post haste. Otherwise please cite the portion of those codes that do apply.

I understand you trying to protect your clients, the council members, from any possible embarrassment over what they wrote in their communication with the chief and/or any other member of the APD or city staff. But that’s not protected under the PRA according to the codes you have provided. So, let’s stop wasting all of this city staff time…and let’s allow the public to know what’s happening with their government and communicated by their elected representatives.”

Smith responded via email the next day, providing the requested emails and included an explanation of why the emails between him and city council members could not be released.

“Dear Mr. Payton,

On June 16, 2021, the City of Antioch received a California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) requesting “copies of any emails/communications between yourself (Chief Brooks)/police department/Mayor Lamar Thorpe and Tamisha Torres-Walker regarding sideshows or rideout”. After further discussion, the City and was agreed that the scope of the request was to be limited to the time period of June 8, 2021 through June 22, 2021.

This letter is in response to your emails dated July 13, 2021 and July 14, 2021.  Attached please find a 10-page document responsive to the CPRA requests that the City has determined is disclosable. Please be advised that other identifiable records are exempt from disclosure because they either involve confidential communications that include the City Attorney and/or they involve confidential communications done at the direction of the City Attorney to accomplish the purpose for which the City Attorney was consulted and are exempt from disclosure.

Thomas Lloyd Smith

City Attorney”

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Antioch adds second-generation officer to the police force, following retirement of Sergeant Harger

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

From Oakland PD, to SF Sheriff’s Office, to Richmond PD to Antioch

Antioch Police Chief Brooks and new Officer Jamal Meadors. Photo: APD

By Antioch Police Department

Please join us in welcoming Officer Jamal Meadors to the Antioch Police Department family!

Jamal was born in San Francisco and raised in Hercules, California. He graduated from Hercules High School and studied Psychology at Diablo Valley College. His love for law enforcement grew after conversations and ride alongs with his father Bruce Meadors, who served 28 years at SFPD.

Jamal began his career with the Oakland Police Department and later became a Deputy at the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office. After working two years in custody, he decided he wanted to make a difference out on the streets, and he joined the Richmond Police Department where he patrolled North and Central Richmond. He worked hard to keep the citizens of Richmond safe, while building a solid rapport with the community.

Jamal is very excited to serve the City of Antioch. He hopes to have a positive impact on his younger relatives who currently reside here. Jamal would like to thank Chief Brooks and the Antioch Police Department for giving him this opportunity. He looks forward to becoming an asset to APD and an officer the citizens can trust. Jamal sees Antioch as his home until retirement. He truly believes APD is a department that will provide him with all the tools, training and support he needs to excel and have a career he can be proud of.

Fun Fact: Jamal enjoys skydiving, bungee jumping, hang gliding and other extreme activities. Unfortunately, his mother made him promise to stop jumping out of the sky. As a man of his word, he’s held true to that promise…so last Thursday he went cage-free shark diving in Oahu.

Recently retired Sgt. Matt Harger. Photo: APD

Brings Force Back Up to 115 Sworn

According to Chief T Brooks, that brings the force back to 115 sworn officers, following the recent retirement of Sergeant Matt Harger following his 27-year career in law enforcement, 21 with Antioch. That was announced on the APD’s Facebook page.

Sergeant Harger began his career in 1994 with the Pleasant Hill Police Department before joining us in 2000. Since he’s been with us, Matt has held many different assignments to include SWAT operator, Field Training Officer, Mobile Field Force team member, PACT Team member, UAV/Drone pilot, and holding the rank of both Police Corporal and Police Sergeant.

This was not to leave out the assignment near and dear to his heart…….being a K9 handler. Sergeant Harger was a dedicated K9 handler and K-9 unit coordinator for 15 years. During that time, he worked two different K9’s. Both “Thor” and “Donna” not only helped keep the residents of Antioch safe, but kept a number of APD officers safe along the way as well as being instrumental in hundreds of arrests. For this, and all of your contributions to the department and the city, we are forever grateful and you will be missed!!!

Best of luck in this new chapter of your life……..you have earned it!

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

 

 

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Antioch Police seeks recruits for VIPS program

Monday, July 19th, 2021

The Antioch Volunteers In Police Service in 2017. Photo: APD

Volunteers In Police Service

By Antioch Police Department

The Antioch Police Department is looking to recruit members from the community who would like to be part of our Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS). Our VIPS program provides a number of vital services to the community that include; clerical and administrative support in the police department, school and park patrols, traffic control for major accident scenes and special events, abandoned auto abatement, vacation house checks, disabled placard parking enforcement, and illegal sign abatement, among other things. Please click the link below to check out our VIPS web page.

The VIPS in action. Photos: APD

If you’re interested in joining the program, there is a link on the page for completing an application. If you have some free time and a desire to give back to your community, we would love to have you as part of our team!

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Barbanica calls for increasing police force by 2.5% per year, adding six officers over next two years, 55 more total

Sunday, July 18th, 2021

Antioch District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica calls for more cops in a video he posted on his YouTube channel and official Facebook page on Saturday, July 17, 2021. Screenshot.

Until city reaches state standard of 1.48 sworn officers per 1,000 population, which equals 170; second council member to request more police last week

By Allen Payton

Another Antioch council member is calling for more sworn officers on the city’s police force. District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica is calling for increasing the Antioch police force by 2.5% per year until the department reaches the state standard of 1.48 sworn officers per 1,000 population. That would add about three officers per year over the next two years above the 115 currently allocated in the budget, and give the city 170 total sworn officers.

Currently the city has about 1.0 sworn officers per 1,000 population and the goal since the mid-1990’s has been to achieve 1.2 sworn officers per 1,000.

He joins District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker, who posted a Facebook video on Saturday morning, calling for the addition of four more officers and have them focus on the Sycamore area. That was in response to her spending time in that part of her district, which has long been the area of the city with the highest level of crime for decades, and hearing complaints from business owners and residents. (See related article)

That’s in spite of the fact that both council members voted along with Mayor Lamar Thorpe and Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson for the new two-year budget on June 22 which does not include any additional officers.

On Saturday at 5:20 p.m., Barbanica posted a video and comments about the proposal on both his YouTube Channel and his official Facebook page, but wrote that he made the video last weekend and informed Thorpe about his idea on Tuesday.

“After the meeting Tuesday night, I called the mayor and told him that I’m formally requesting that this be placed on the agenda,” Barbanica told the Herald. “And I followed up with a formal email.”

He said he was pleasantly surprised to see Torres-Walker’s request she announced earlier on Saturday.

Following is Barbanica’s Facebook post:

“Antioch First! Public Safety

I made this video last weekend and I know some of you are curious, yes, it was before Tuesday night’s standing committee meeting. But, that changes nothing…I am still going to push to get the body cams, car cams, taser technology upgrade and I am introducing a plan for getting staffing where it needs to be. Following the meeting Tuesday night, I called the mayor and told him about the video and that I would be coming out with it. On Wednesday night I emailed the mayor with a formal request to bring this addition of officers to council as an agenda item. Is this a big ask?…yes. Would this take years…yes. However, there would likely be adjustments along the way. Is our community worth it…YES!

So far, here are the results of some of the votes:

Body/Car cams 5-0 (5 yes)

Taser Technology Upgrade 2-3 (2 yes 3 no)

Double the size of Code Enforcement 4-1 (4 yes 1 no)

Recommend implementation of body/car cam policy 2-3 (2 yes 3 no), and that was a standing committee vote, which will come back to us, so it is not a dead issue.

I have proposed that the city council adopt a resolution that would assure the public that PD officer staffing levels will increase each year by a minimum of 2.5% until we reach our goal that I talk about in this video. I have made the request to have this placed on the agenda.

We are re-visiting the budget in November and I think this would be a great time for this to come to the council.”

Following his vote for the budget, when asked why he didn’t include a request for additional police then, Barbanica said “the chief didn’t submit a request for any additional funds. But we can revisit it during the mid-year budget review.

An effort to reach Thorpe asking if he had any comments on Barbanica’s email from earlier in the week and if he will place the matter of additional police requested by the two council members on the next meeting agenda was unsuccessful prior to publication time. Please check back later for any updates to this report.

 

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Antioch Councilwoman Torres-Walker calls for hiring 4 more police officers for Sycamore corridor

Saturday, July 17th, 2021

City’s highest crime area; would reverse recent two-year budget vote that includes no additional officers; also calls for removal of officer from community detail

“You have individuals threatening to take the law into their own hands if we, as a city, don’t do something, because they’re at the end of their ropes.”

“This is, like, a super tough decision.”

“they know more police isn’t the answer. But we gotta think about the short-term solutions while we dive into the long-term solutions. Our people need relief, right now.”

“this is what the community is asking for, proactive policing in their community and I, as a leader, have to support that.” – Councilwoman Torres-Walker

Screenshot of Antioch District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker’s video posted on her official Facebook page on Saturday, July 17, 2021. It has since been removed.

By Allen Payton

In a major reversal from her votes and previous statements, Antioch District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker made a surprise announcement on Saturday, July 17, 2021 that she’s asking the mayor to place on the next council meeting agenda the hiring of four additional police officers and to focus them on the Sycamore corridor, which has long been the neighborhood with the greatest crime problems in the city. (See Part 1 and Part 2 of video)

In a 17-minute live video posted on her official Facebook page, entitled “Leadership is not easy”, (which has since been removed) Torres-Walker said she had been meeting with business owners in the small shopping center at the corner of Sycamore Drive and L Street, and that they’re struggling to stay open “because of the activity in the area.” She also said that the Quikstop “is pulling out” and that the corporation has given the local franchisee the opportunity to buy them out and become an independent.

She said she’s sent emails to the mayor, police chief, city manager and city attorney “to see what can we do to really look closely at the Sycamore corridor.”

“For a very long time, this particular community has been overlooked,” Torres-Walker said.

“I absolutely believe in police accountability, transparency and reform and on the other hand I also believe in healthy communities and keeping communities safe, and something is just not adding up in that particular community,” she stated. “This is where the hard decisions need to be made and I think that the city council, myself included, needs to have a real conversation about what do we do on the Sycamore corridor…to make that community safe.”

“Some of the biggest challenges are trying to figure this all out and in all reality…there’s no way to get around the fact that we need more patrol in that area,” Torres-Walker shared. “I have no agenda, here. I just want to help people. And right now, people are saying we need help. We don’t want to keep paying these high rents and we can’t even come outside of our house. Our kids can’t even play outside. We can’t go to the store.”

Just last month, she and the council majority, with only District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock voting no, approved a two-year budget that shows increases in the General Fund of over $13 million, and included the creation of 17 new positions, but no additional police officers. In addition, Torres-Walker, along with Mayor Lamar Thorpe and Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson, has twice voted down approving new, high-tech tasers for the department. (See related article here)

In her video, Torres-Walker, wearing a shirt with the words “NOT TODAY SATAN” across the front, struggled to share her recognition of the need for more police. She also repeated a previous claim that “police don’t prevent crime. They show up after a crime or harm was already committed.”

Yet, she spoke of bringing back the program initiated by the city council in the late 1990’s of community policing in the Sycamore corridor, in which officers walked the beat and had regular interaction with residents. As a result, from 1995 to 1998 serious crime in that part of Antioch was reduced by 80%.

“I feel so bad for this community and I think we really need to look at increasing APD by four additional officers,” Torres-Walker continued. “The reason why I’m saying this because there used to be a focus in this community and it was called proactive policing and that went away a long time ago.”

“But if we’re really going to commit to this community, we have to do what’s best for Antioch, and what’s best for Antioch residents,” Torres-Walker stated. “And I cannot ignore the voices of business owners, homeowners and community members who want their community to be safe on Sycamore.”

“And we need to do pro-active policing in the City of Antioch,” she continued. “And so, right now, today, I am asking the Mayor of Antioch to bring to the agenda, a discussion on increasing the Antioch Police Department by four additional officers, so we can do some…proactive community policing in the Sycamore corridor, and get business owners, residents and homeowners, some relief and the opportunity to live safe in their community.”

“It’s not that easy,” Torres-Walker said with a laugh. “It’s not that easy, folks. Like, the reality is, is I believe in transparency, I believe in accountability, I believe in quality policing services. And until we can get to a point in society where we, you know, no longer need these systems, right now, we have people in the Sycamore corridor…who are saying, ‘we don’t know what to do. We need some help.’”

“This is, like, a super tough decision,” she stated. “I spent some time talking to some officers from APD, today when I was out in the Sycamore community, and I just, I can’t imagine, I don’t even live there, and I can’t imagine what this community is going through on a daily. And just by talking to business owners, we have to do something.”

“You have individuals threatening to take the law into their own hands if we, as a city, don’t do something, because they’re at the end of their ropes,” Torres-Walker shared.

“Leadership is complicated, folks,” she added. “But, right now, I’m saying, I’m willing to support four additional positions to the police department to do proactive policing in the Sycamore corridor. I hope that my colleagues on the city council hears this plea. I hope that folks in the community understand.”

“I hope people still believe in me and people still trust me,” Torres-Walker implored. “But the reality is, is that…poor communities, communities of color, Black communities are complex. And we can’t let personal agendas get in the way and I learned that, today,”

“I actually have been spending a lot of time in the Sycamore community over the last two days and I learned, agendas aside, this community needs help,” she continued. “And they’re asking for help, they’re crying out for help, and they want support. And they know more police isn’t the answer. But we gotta think about the short-term solutions while we dive into the long-term solutions. Our people need relief, right now.”

“So, there it is folks. Here, right now, before you all and the world, saying that we need to help residents. Residents need relief, right now,” Torres-Walker said. “And no, I don’t believe that policing is the, you know, the sum of what public safety is about. But right now, this is what the community is asking for, proactive policing in their community and I, as a leader, have to support that.”

“So, again, if you want to reach out to me you can call me at (925) 206-2340 or you can email me at twalker@antiochca.gov,” she shared. “I hope this message reaches the community, the Sycamore community. My heart is with you. My thoughts are with you. To the business owners, we want you to be profitable, we want you to be there to provide a service for the community, as well as take care of you and your community.”

Apologizes to Sycamore community

“And even though I just got here, I want to extend an apologize to everyone in that community for the decades of mistreatment, lack of resources, and just no attention,” Torres-Walker concluded. “Thank you everyone for hearing me out, today. I will be emailing the chief on Monday, as well as the mayor to get this on the council agenda, as soon as possible.”

Supports Removing Officer from Community Detail

She then spoke about a petition to have Officer “Tom Linderman removed from the community policing detail over the homeless, you know our unhoused folks in the community,” and offered her support.

“I think that’s also something we need to consider as a city,” Torres-Walker said. “Maybe some things people aren’t meant to be doing. This petition is not asking for him to be fired. This petition is asking for him to be moved to a new division. At this point, right now, from what I hear from unhoused folks and community members who serve the unhoused folks, is probably the best deal.”

“The reality is, is some people just aren’t good at community engagement,” she continued. “And that’s fine. Because we can use their talents in other places.”

“I will also be raising this up at the next council meeting on the 27th of this month and to the police chief when he gets back from vacation on Monday,” Torres-Walker concluded.

“I’m willing to hear you all out. Let me know,” she said, reiterating her support for four more officers. “If you think this is a step in the wrong direction, let me know. But people are asking for this and I got to do my best.”

Video Removed

As of 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, the video had been removed from here council Facebook page. An attempt to reach Torres-Walker asking her why was unsuccessful prior to publication. An effort to reach Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe asking if he was aware of her proposal and if he will place it on the next council meeting agenda was also unsuccessful.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

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Attempted murder suspect arrested following police raid of Antioch home early Friday morning

Friday, July 16th, 2021

Concord and Antioch Police Officers conduct a joint operation to apprehend a suspect for attempted murder in Antioch, CA on July 16, 2021. Photos provided by individual who chose to remain anonymous.

“Concord PD had a search warrant for several residents.” – Antioch Police Lt. Desmond Bittner

By Allen Payton

At approximately 6:00 am on Friday, July 16, 2021, the Concord Police Department with an assist from the Antioch Police Department conducted a raid on a residence on Rodeo Court in Antioch. According to a witness, the purpose of the raid was to serve an arrest warrant on an individual for attempted murder.

According to a source in the APD, the Concord SWAT Team led the raid with support from the APD that included a second armored vehicle, personnel and communications support.

The suspect was apprehended on the scene by the Concord Swat Team.

UPDATE: A woman who lives at the house refuted the information provided by the witness and police source, saying that the police only wanted to question the man they were there looking for and that he was only detained, not arrested. She said she was also detained. However, the witness referred to earlier in this report said the man was put in handcuffs and taken away in a police car.

When contacted to verify what occurred, Antioch Police Lt. Desmond Bittner said, “We did assist Concord by lending them our SWAT truck and a few UAS (drone) operators. I know Concord PD had a search warrant for several residents. I believe the warrant was for attempted murder involving a firearm. Concord PD would obviously have the most accurate information.”

Efforts to obtain additional information from the Concord Police Department were unsuccessful prior to publication time. Please check back later for any updates to this report. (See more photos on the Antioch Herald Facebook page)

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Antioch Police to hold Fill-A-Car Back-to-School Supplies drive events July 17 and 24

Friday, July 16th, 2021

The Antioch Police Department will be hosting a back-to-school drive event for the foster and unhoused youth in our community. There are many school aged children who may be displaced from their homes and are living in shelters or cars and have no means to purchase school supplies. In an effort to help, we want to team up with our community and ask for donations to provide each child the necessary tools and supplies to help them be successful this upcoming school year.

In 2019, we collected so many school supplies that we were able to fill 300 backpacks. We could not have done this without your generosity!

The 2020 school year was a challenge for all, and we feel that this upcoming school year they will need our help even more.

Please come and see us on the following dates and locations:

– Saturday, July 17th, 2021, in front of Walmart between 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

– Saturday, July 24th, 2021, near the Starbucks in Slatten Ranch between 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

We hope to see you!

 

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