Civil Rights Suit Filed against Antioch Cops for ‘Excessive Force, Salacious Patterns of Racial, Misogynic, and Homophobic Bigotry’

Via Wikimedia Commons

By The Vanguard Staff 

ANTIOCH, CA – A federal lawsuit has been filed against Antioch police officers and the City of Antioch for alleged—according to a news conference Thursday here— “numerous civil rights violations, including for wanton, excessive force, and salacious patterns of racial, misogynic, and homophobic bigotry by Antioch police officers.”

In a statement, civil rights lawyer John Burris said the police actions are “reflective of pervasive and deep-seated ‘hatred’ for the people that they serve.”

Burris and Ben Nisenbaum revealed Thursday an “ongoing probe about possible illegal conduct involving members of the Pittsburg and Antioch police departments” and it was found that texts and emails showed “many Antioch police officers were engaging in a pattern of racially derogatory, homophobic, and sexually explicit language and photographs demonstrating animus toward the people in the community.”

The attorneys charged “text messages sent by officers that were sent by text/email stream to as many as 45 officers, including sergeants and Lieutenants, referred to its citizens as ‘niggers,’ ‘niggas,’ ‘monkeys,’ ‘gorillas,’ ‘faggots,’ ‘water buffalos,’ ‘cunts,’ ‘pussies,’ ‘fat bitches.’”

Burris said, “It’s criminal that these officers are supposedly ‘serving and protecting’ the community have conducted themselves in such an openly outrageous manner that the community should be just as afraid of the Antioch Police officers as they are of the criminals in the street.”  

Burris added that “nothing less than a complete overhaul of the department is required, and that may mean that the Department of Justice expands the investigation by the District Attorney to set forth reforms of the department and that a compliance officer be appointed to oversee the reforms. This department is a disgrace to all the good men and women in law enforcement.”  

The law firm’s statement charged, “Officers celebrated the violent targeting of Black community,” with one officer allegedly claiming “we just ran down a monkey…I am only stopping them cuz they Black…I’ll bury that nigger in my field. I can’t wait to forty all of them (a less lethal weapon that fires rubber bullets).”

Other texts also allegedly stated that “we’ll just say he refused to comply” and “I sometimes just say people gave a full confession when they didn’t, get filed easier.” 

The law firm also said one officer brags he was trying to “kick a field goal” after kicking a suspect in the head, and another officer “said that he’d pay for dinner if an officer would ‘40’ that MF, Mayor Rhodes.”

Lawyer Nisenbaum said, “The Antioch police department has lost the trust of its people, and the city has allowed its department to run amok, letting open racism and brutality by its standard.  It is hoped that this lawsuit will create fundamental changes to the department’s leadership structure, policy, and training so that racism will be erased from the department. 

“We hope that his legal action will ensure that people’s civil rights will be respected and the integrity of the department will be restored.” 

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