Antioch mayor wants investigation into police department after racist texts emerge

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe condemned 17 Antioch police officers, including the president of the city's police union, who had been recently identified for allegedly sending racist texts to each other.

"While Antioch has worked hard to become one of the Bay Area's most racially diverse cities, this will undoubtedly leave an embarrassing stain on our community," Thorpe said Saturday in a video statement on Saturday.

Thorpe said there should be an independent audit of the department's Internal Affairs process. He also said he wants to review the hiring and promotions practices, so measures can be implemented to "root out" biased officers.

His statement came a day after a Contra Costa County judge released the names of the 17 cops who are accused of exchanging the inappropriate messages.

Eight of the city's police officers had recently been put on leave as part of the investigation into misconduct in Antioch's law enforcement.

Thorpe has said that replacing the sidelined officers will be a financial burden for the city.

The FBI and Contra Costa County prosecutors started investigating the Antioch and Pittsburg police departments more than a year ago.

Thorpe pointed out how this "culture" has gone on for a long period of time without any members of the command staff noticing, "from lieutenant on up to chief."

Thorpe also expressed concerns over how certain claims that were never investigated by now are past the statutes of limitations.

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The city should be "conducting some kind of police equity audit of the Antioch Police Department to measure bias in our enforcement efforts and to ultimately pursue measures that help eliminate racist policies, practices, and behaviors," said Thorpe

KTVU has reached out to the Antioch Police Association for comment and hasn't heard back.