Mayor says 10% of Antioch Police Department under investigation

Antioch's mayor on Monday said that eight of 57 officers in the police department are under investigation by the FBI and county prosecutors.  

That number comprises about 10% of the police force and 15% of the patrol officers in the city. All eight are on administrative leave. 

Lamar Thorpe didn't offer too many other details. 

"Many residents have regularly asked about updates related to this matter," Thorpe said. "And as always, this is an ongoing investigation. And so, we want to respect that that process. But I understand the community's frustration in wanting answers to these issues." 

The interim police chief, Steve Ford, called the allegations "very disturbing." 

"I emphasize the circumstances do not represent the organization as a whole," Ford said. "I sincerely apologize to the profession."

Neither the mayor nor the chief described in detail what they were disturbed about. 

But in March, the Contra Costa County District Attorney said that several officers from the Pittsburg and Antioch police departments were being investigated for possible crimes of "moral turpitude." 

The DA's investigation, aided by the FBI, involved three Pittsburg officers and an unknown number of Antioch police officers, which Thorpe clarified on Monday. 

MORE: Contra Costa County D.A., FBI investigating Antioch, Pittsburg police for 'broad range of offenses'

The announcement did not indicate what these crimes of moral turpitude were. Pittsburg police have acknowledged that at least one of its officers was involved in illegal activity in September. 

Pittsburg has not held an update on the status of their officers. 

What can constitute a crime of moral turpitude is very vague. By definition, it's when the criminal intent is reckless and considered "morally reprehensible" by state statute, such as unjustified violence.  According to the dictionary, crimes of moral turpitude can include theft, perjury and vice crimes. 

However, KTVU has learned that prosecutors and federal agents are looking into the possible abuse of prescription testosterone supplements. They are also looking into allegations that officers joked about who was bringing heroin and cocaine to so-called parties, a source said.  

Thorpe said he also wanted to hold a special meeting to make Con Johnson the city manager and Ford the chief of police.

Thorpe said he wanted the process to be fair, especially to the good officers.  

"If this process reveals any criminal wrongdoing, the sooner we can root out officers that should not be wearing the badge, it will be better for our city as we work towards buildingrelationships built on trust with our community," Thorpe said. "On that note, this is equally about protecting those police officers that have chosen to serve with honor on a daily basis. And so we want to make sure that they are respected as well. "

Thorpe added that the good officers "deserve to be viewed through a lens of their commitment and serve as they have served the city of Antioch with distinction."