CA Attorney General Announces Investigation of Troubled Antioch PD for Civil Rights Violations – Ticks Off Half Dozen Other Probes Since 2021

Attorney General Rob Bonta in Oakland (Courtesy of the Attorney General’s Office)

By Crescenzo Vellucci

The Vanguard Sacramento Bureau

OAKLAND, CA – The California Attorney General Wednesday said he’s opening a civil rights probe of the Antioch Police Dept, to determine “whether the law enforcement agency has engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing amid deeply concerning allegations relating to bigoted text messages and other potentially discriminatory misconduct.”

Related, see:

Antioch Fires Cop, Adding to Scandals Rocking Police Dept

And:

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

And:

Reporter Files Federal Lawsuit Against City of Antioch; Lawyers Suggest Police Attack Example of ‘Systemic Cancer’ in Antioch Police Dept.

But, it won’t be the first investigation of a CA local police agency—AG Rob Bonta ticked off a half dozen others he’s done over the past couple of years, from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Bonta said if the investigation shows “unlawful activity or practices took place, the (AG) office will also determine what potential actions are needed to ensure comprehensive corrective action takes place at APD.

“Police departments are on the front lines of that fight every day as they work to safeguard the people of our state. However, where there are allegations of potentially pervasive bias or discrimination, it can undermine the trust that is critical for public safety and our justice system,” said Bonta.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that we establish a culture of accountability, professionalism, and zero tolerance for hateful or racist behavior, on or off duty. It is our job to protect and serve all of our communities,” said Bonta.

Bonta explained that it won’t be a criminal investigation, but the probe “typically works to identify and, as appropriate, compel the correction of systemic violations of the constitutional rights of the community at large by a law enforcement agency.”

The AG said his office has “made no determinations at this time about specific complaints, allegations, or the agency’s overall policies and practices,” and the probe in separate from current FBI and other criminal investigations that are also ongoing.

Bonta noted just a few months ago, in February, the AG began an investigation into allegations of excessive force at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. 

And, in 2022, the AG “assumed responsibility for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation related to contracts awarded to a local nonprofit,” coordinated actions in San Francisco to help “ensure the continuation of local oversight efforts related to officer-involved shootings, in-custody deaths, and severe uses of force” and “opened a pattern or practice investigation” into the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. 

Bonta also noted, in 2021 he “launched an independent review of the Torrance Police Department and secured a stipulated judgment against the Bakersfield Police Department requiring an extensive range of actions to promote public safety.”

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