SAN JOSE, Calif. - The City of San Jose has a new police chief. Anthony Mata is a 25-year veteran who previously served as deputy chief. Mata is a father of three and a Chicago native.
"I’m truly honored and beyond words," said Mata, San Jose Police’s new chief. "I’m just grateful for this opportunity."
"I’ve seen Anthony in the community not just as a police officer but as a father, as a member of the community," said Jethroe Moore, president of the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP.
Moore was one of Mata’s references. Mata, who is Latino and bilingual, beat out two other deputy chiefs and a candidate from Pittsburgh.
"The biggest thing that set him apart for me was his willingness to admit his mistakes," said Moore. "His remorse behind some of the things that have happened."
Back in 1999, Mata, a young officer at the time fired his weapon at a 48-year-old unarmed man who died. The district attorney’s office said it was justified. Moore said it changed Mata's perception of policing.
More recently, a retired LGBTQ officer expressed concern. San Jose’s City Manager said in a statement Tuesday, "The city did not substantiate a violation of city policy nor find any reason to disqualify Mata."
"Now that the decision has been made I look forward to working with Tony and we can all come together," said Sykes.
"We know we have a lot of important challenging work ahead and grateful you are willing to lead us," said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
Moore said what also spoke volumes was that Mata and his daughter participated in the Black Lives Matter marches alongside faith leaders.
"He was amongst us before he ran for chief, while he ran for chief and after," said Moore. "I’m sure Tony will be with us."
Mata officially takes over as chief on Monday.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.