Nine current and former police officers from the cities of Antioch and Pittsburg were arrested Thursday for alleged corruption and civil rights violations.
A total of 10 former and current cops have been indicted by a grand jury following an 18-month investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. The charges include wire fraud, deprivation of rights under color of law, and conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids.
One of the indictments details how Antioch police officers deliberately used excessive force against members of the community. They then bragged about the exploits to colleagues, sending each other pictures of the injuries they caused.
One officer allegedly used his K9 to inflict bites on a bicyclist and then laughed about the flesh the dog had torn from the victim.
During the course of the investigation, agents also discovered racist and homophobic messages sent on a text chain involving scores of Antioch PD personnel. Black people were referred to as the N-word and gorillas, and threats of violence were made against Antioch’s Black mayor, Lamar Thorpe.
Thorpe issued the following statement Thursday:
Today is a dark day in our city’s history, as people trusted to uphold the law, allegedly breached that trust and were arrested by the FBI.
As our city absorbs this tragic news, we must come together as one. Today's actions are the beginning of the end of a long and arduous process.
To those that have accused me and others of being anti-police for seeking to reform the Antioch Police Department, today’s arrests are demonstrative of the issues that have plagued the Antioch Police Department for decades.
Seeking to reform the Antioch Police Department is not anti-police, it is pro our residents, and pro officers that have served and continue to serve with honor.