Antioch mayor announces more officers placed on leave after investigation into police dept.

ByAnser Hassan KGO logo
Friday, March 31, 2023
Antioch mayor says more officers on leave amid dept. investigation
Antioch's mayor announced an ongoing investigation into the city's Police Department has led to additional officers placed on leave.

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- Antioch's mayor announced Thursday that an ongoing investigation into the city's Police Department has led to additional officers placed on leave.

"We are going to see a reduction in our police force because of this FBI investigation," says Mayor Lamar Thorpe.

The ongoing FBI and state investigation into the Antioch Police Department began with allegations of excessive force and police brutality involving eight officers. The Bay Area News Group also reports that some officers allegedly obtained fake college degrees to get pay increases.

The paper is also reporting additional suspensions of more officers, this time for allegations of sending offensive text messages.

MORE: Antioch moves forward on series of police reform measures

"Several additional officers have been placed on administrative leave," says Thorpe, adding that their actions weren't criminal, but wouldn't confirm reports.

Neither would Antioch Police Chief Steven Ford. In a statement to ABC7 News, he writes, "Unfortunately, it's a sensitive personal matter that I'm not able to discuss."

"We also are not going to sweep these maters under the rug, as we have done in the past. And pretend that we have a few issues with a few bad apples. It is clear we have a cultural and systemic problems that persist to this very day," explains Thorpe.

Even though Mayor Thorpe says the level of crime is still below the years between 2013 and 2020, many small businesses continue to report crime.

A coffee shop - one block from city hall - was burglarized Thursday morning.

MORE: Antioch gas station cashier fatally shot; 2 linked suspects remain at large, police say

In February, surveillance video shows Hillcrest Restaurant and Taphouse being looted. The manager says the burglar was inside for about 10 minutes and stole more than $10,000 worth of property.

"When I called half way through it to check to see where they were at, they told me there was nobody available. Because they were understaffed," says restaurant manager, Dwayne Gilliand.

The mayor adds that along with a decrease in patrol officers, the city will likely be hit with increased expenses due to the investigation.

"As a result, the residents of our city are going to pay excessive amounts of money for potential law enforcement support from outside agencies. A loss of manpower, potential litigation. And outside, independent investigations," says Thorpe.

Thorpe says he wants more accountability and is ready to call a special meeting with police chief if necessary.

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