A federal and local investigation into racist and inappropriate communications between Antioch police officers has turned up a list of communiques obviously never intended for civilian eyes. The messaging, investigators say, was widespread and conducted at many levels of the department. Instead of resulting in punitive action by superiors, investigators say the communications often inspired laughter, additional derision aimed at community figures and groups, and expressed wishes of violence.
Department Chief Steve Ford responded to the release of the text messages thusly:
Antioch, California, April 13, 2023 – Chief Steve Ford releases the following statement regarding recent reports of inappropriate text messages being attributed to Antioch Police Department members:
“I condemn – in the strongest possible terms – the racially abhorrent content and incomprehensible behavior being attributed to members of the Antioch Police Department in media reports. I have taken immediate action to ensure a thorough
investigation by an external independent entity is conducted and the community is not exposed to any individuals under question from this reporting.
“On behalf of our organization, I apologize to the Antioch Community for the hurt caused by this hateful speech. I promise to hold accountable the officers expressing racist or bigoted beliefs, biased insensitivity, and those boasting about harming members of the community.
“I would like to thank the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation for their work in helping us identify the sickening disease of racism and other incompatible behaviors within our ranks. We will continue to fully cooperate with their efforts while taking actionable steps to restore community trust in our organization.”
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Note: A comprehensive, though redacted, version of the investigative findings thus far may be found HERE.
WARNING: The findings contain language and photographs many will find inappropriate. Please use your own judgment prior to opening.