Home Antioch Antioch City Council Set to Prohibit Police From Receiving Military Equipment

Antioch City Council Set to Prohibit Police From Receiving Military Equipment

by ECT

On Tuesday, the City of Antioch will continue its discussion on police reform with an agenda item that would ban the city from acceptance and or acquisition of Surplus Military Equipment in the future.

This item is in response to the February 26 meeting where they discussed police reform and directed staff to proceed with specific measures. The Antioch Police Department can keep what it currently has, including its rescue vehicle, but nothing new in the future would be accepted.

According to the resolution:

“Whereas, the Antioch Police Department is an arm of local government whose primary purpose is to protect and serve all Antioch residents and visitors; and

Whereas, the City Council is committed to serving the whole community and its diverse residents, strengthening community ties and developing policy approaches that forge stronger community partnerships; and

Whereas, future acceptance or acquisition of surplus military equipment from Federal government, State government or private entities is not supported by the City Council and, therefore, the Antioch Police Department will discontinue future procurement of said items effective immediately”

Full Resolution: click here

Recap of the February 26 meeting when the council discussed its Demilitarization of Antioch Police:

Demilitarization of Antioch Police

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe called this item straight forward as there is a program within the Federal Government where they can either accept donated decommissioned equipment or purchase military equipment.

“I’ve never believed in that, so my request is that we ban the city from purchasing any further military equipment from the federal government,” stated Thorpe.

Councilmember Mike Barbanica stated he did not want a military force on the street, but said the availability of certain equipment can be helpful. He explained how many people have an issue with the MRAP (armed vehicle) but reminded people how things can escalate quickly such as the shots fired last week where they struck police vehicles and an AMR unit, the vehicle was used several years ago during a hostage situation at ARCO on Contra Loma. It was also used in an incident where an officer was shot in the head and they used to vehicle to pull people safely out of an area.

“I believe they do have an application, unfortunately, in todays society, officers sometimes are in a situation where facing a lot of fire power out there and we’re asking these individuals, these men and women to go into these situation in a very high risk situation, say SWAT call-out or something like that where there are armed individuals and I believe we have a duty to make sure that they and members of the public are protected,” explained Barbanica.

He reiterated he was not militarizing the police department but there were certain applications where they could be used.

Councilmemeber Tamisha Torres-Walker said that the militarization of the police on the streets was a direct stamp on the war on drugs and has devastated black communities and communities of color for decades.

“We should not be at war with our community, we should not be at war with our residents. We should demilitarize our police, stop mismanaging our policing services, put resources where they are necessary so we can make our communities safe,” stated Torres-Walker. “We don’t want to see storm troopers on the ground in our community, we want to see community policing strategies that get at the root cause of violence.”

Councilmember Lori Ogorchock asked the police chief on how important the MRAP and if they paid for any of the equipment.

Chief Tammany Brooks explained all of the items they have received were free and the MRAP had a price tag of $700k and also was free. He said the MRAP is used on high risk search warrants and arrest warrants for people who typically pose a risk due to weapon violations and the knowledge they have as being currently armed and dangerous for crimes such as murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He said the vehicle is used approximately 10-15 times per year.

“The rescue vehicle is not an offensive vehicle. I’ve heard a couple people refer to it as a tank. Its actually on a chassis that’s built also for dump trucks and cement mixes, fire trucks, the body is military grade,” explained Brooks. “Its not a tank. Its not meant for offensive purposes. It provides a high level of ballistic resistance when officers are in situations in which they could face fire from people that we are trying to arrest in those high-risk situations.”

Ogorchock stated she believed the MRAP was very important to the department and they didn’t pay for it. She then asked the mayor to clarify what he was asking.

Thorpe responded by calling the MRAP a tank.

“This tank was designed for improvised explosive devices in Iraq. If that’s what we want on our streets, then I’m happy to discuss that,” Thorpe said.

Ogorchock responded by the chief just stating it wasn’t a tank and was something to be used to keep officers safe.

Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson asked for clarification that what they were deciding tonight if they want to have a larger conversation.

Thorpe stated that what they would decide tonight would be to direct staff to come back with a policy that says the city of Antioch will no longer purchase military equipment. But they had the option to expanded it to say the city will no longer use current military equipment, I am more than happy to entertain that too.

“I definitely would like to have a larger conversation than this quick Friday night thing,” Wilson stated.

“Banning the use of military equipment in our city as well as the use of mutual aid, there have been police departments across this country that are providing mutual aid to each other, especially in Contra Costa County, where peaceful protesters, people in the community have been hurt, harmed, and almost killed, through mutual aid efforts” Torres-Walker said. “We should not be using military equipment on our streets or any other streets under mutual aid circumstances. We should definitely ban any purchase or acceptance of free military equipment. We shouldn’t be accepting any of that in our community.”

Torres-Walker asked if they could sell the tank because $700k could go to a lot of youth services as well as the mental health services.

Thorpe asked the council two things:

  1. To come back with a policy to no longer accept military equipment from federal, state or private.
  2. Hold a larger discussion around the current use of military equipment Antioch has.

Barbanica stated he believed, “this policy places officers potentially in the future at risk and its wrong.”

Thorpe shot back.

“I’d like to remind folks, military equipment wasn’t design for the local police department, it was designed for the military,” stated Thorpe who then called for the vote.

The council voted 3-2 with Barbanica and Ogorchock dissenting on both items.

Rep. Johnson reintroduces bipartisan bill to de-militarize police

On March 9, Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) re-introduced the bipartisan Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2021 that would place restrictions and transparency measures on the “1033 program,” which allows the Department of Defense (DOD) to transfer excess military equipment to law enforcement agencies.

The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act would:

  • Prevent transfers of equipment inappropriate for local policing, such as military weapons, long-range acoustic devices, grenade launchers, weaponized drones, armored military vehicles, and grenades or similar explosives.
  • Require that recipients certify that they can account for all military weapons and equipment. In 2012, the weapons portion of the 1033 program was temporarily suspended after DOD found that a local sheriff gifted out army-surplus Humvees and other supplies. This bill would prohibit re-gifting and require recipients to account for all DOD weapons and equipment.
  • The bill adds requirements to enforce tracking mechanisms that keep up with and control transfers of the equipment, implements policies ensuring that police agencies can’t surplus the equipment for resale, and defines drones more clearly.

For a copy of the bill, click HERE.

Antioch City Council Meeting

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Jim Simmons Mar 22, 2021 - 8:26 am

Remember everyone, Mayor Thorpe knows best because he is above the political rhetoric which is why he is calling the rescue vehicle a tank. Very simple, remove Thorpe, Wilson or Torres-Walker (any 1 of the 3 or all of them) in the next election and repeal this idiotic resolution on Day 1 just like this council did with school resource officers.

Jerry Mar 22, 2021 - 8:47 am

Some of the people in Antioch need reformed not the police. This city is out of control and it’s about to get worse.

Steve B Mar 22, 2021 - 9:53 am

Seriously people, someone needs to lead the way to vote these backward thinking members out of council. What right is wrong, and what’s wrong is right. At least that’s how they see it. Shameful it’s at the cost of the citizens of Antioch.

moonwork Mar 22, 2021 - 9:55 am

Given the military grade fire power and bombs Police encounter today performing their duties, APD should be accepting all equipment offered and the City of Antioch should be thankful. I feel duped by the Mayor. Glad Monica wants to at least discuss this more. We now have small kids with no helmets on riding mini bukes through our neighborhood. The blood will be on Tanesha’a hands when one of tgese mids gets hit. This is stupid that it is even discussed. Take everything offered if Chief Brooks wants it.

Simonpure Mar 22, 2021 - 10:06 am

What the heck is wrong with these people. They have all lost their minds.

Robert C. Mar 22, 2021 - 10:13 am

To Mayor Thorpe: “I’ve never believed in that” is not a logical or valid reason for such a policy decision. Acceptance or rejection of any equipment should be based on local needs, not prohibited because “you’ve never believed in that.”

To Ms. Torres-Walker: your statement doesn’t even make sense. It is DRUGS, not the “militarization of the police,” that has “devastated black communities.”

Ann Mar 22, 2021 - 11:03 am

I believe the same as ALL the other residents in OUR community. This city counsel is off its rocker!! It was just said the city doesn’t pay for the military such items, so what’s the problem? If our police department can use it , then it should be used!! These people that are now on city counsel need to get their sh*t straight!

George Mar 22, 2021 - 11:38 am

To Mayor Thorpe and the city council: To help understand the needs and to build a better team with the police department, it might help if your team went through a ride a long program with a police department. Spending one on one time with a police officer in the field could really help.

Good Thought Mar 22, 2021 - 1:29 pm

@ George, it won’t help! I know that 1 member was a police officer, he gets it, 2 of the other 4 HAVE been on police ride alongs. It was a requirement , Ogorchock and Wilson, while they attended the APD Citizens Academy when I attended. As for the other 2, I think they have been as well, but from the back seat. They are loosing their ways because they are not listening to their district citizens. They really need to take off the blinders and see what is really going on in the city. The first thing thing counsel needs to do is have a Citizens/Community REFORM first.

Lauren Pons Mar 22, 2021 - 2:23 pm

These jokers want to PROHIBIT our PD from receiving decommission military equipment? Our police need more and more military equipment, not less or fewer! These City Council clowns are insane and dangerous to our communities and cities! ALL of them should be kicked out! I really feel sorry for our wonderful Chief of Police Brooks for having to put up with these jokers!

Frank Mar 22, 2021 - 3:03 pm

I just read that Antioch is number 200 out of 229 worst cities in Ca. Hell yeah we need this equipment. Not a day goes by that there isn’t some kind of explosion or gunfire. Get all you can and use when needed.

Gr8scot Mar 22, 2021 - 3:10 pm

I’ll pay the city for what the city paid and remove it from sight. It will be my new Hyw 4 commute vehicle.

Mark Mason Mar 22, 2021 - 3:46 pm

Oh? They plan to prohibit the acquisition of military equipment given to our police department for free? How quaint is that? Chief Brook should personally lead a squad of officers to go into the council chambers and ARREST at least three of these people and then run them out of this town! It was a terrible decision to have people vote for that trio and we are now going to pay a heavy price, Now, all I hear are complaints and how sorry those people are voting for them. One of them shouldn’t even have been running and you know who I mean.

My Death is your Fault Mar 22, 2021 - 4:30 pm

This council is retarded. As I work in the security field Antioch is a hell hole and needs more cops! Fucking idiot Thorpe!

Chris Mills Mar 22, 2021 - 5:02 pm

I’ve been on the phone most of the day talking with a relative from Boulder, Colorado about the “active shooter” situation at a supermarket there. He said that thank God the Boulder police had heavy military-type equipment to help them in pursuing the shooter whose aim was to shoot everyone in sight including police. The situation is still ongoing as it is unknown if more than one shooter emerged. We need ALL the military equipment we can muster here. One never knows when those will be needed. With so many criminals moving here as we can see from the news and arrests of Antioch-based law-breakers, we are in need of more and more of such equipment now than ever.

Maureen McDonald Mar 22, 2021 - 5:08 pm

GOOD THOUGHT – One of those on the council does not belong there at all. She should have been removed in November. We need to everything we can to save Antioch!

Concerned Citizen Mar 22, 2021 - 5:51 pm

Hey City Council. TURN ON THE FREAKING NEWS TODAY. Look at Boulder Colorado Police dealing with a mass shooting and notice how and why they are geared up with military protection when the situation warrants it. Boulder still lost an officer!
Hey City Council. Read the FREAKING daily news in Antioch regarding the weapons that are being seized off of the criminals in this town. The criminals are carrying military grade weapons!
What the hell is wrong with you? Do we need to lose officers to your stupidity?

Tom Fuller Mar 22, 2021 - 6:48 pm

Armed vehicles saved the lives of quite a few people in Boulder, CO today and Boulder hardly ever has any crime unlike Antioch which has a violent crime or two committed just about every weak. Just check out the weekly police calls site!

Brad Mar 22, 2021 - 7:42 pm

Comments made by some of the city council members are literally idiotic. They are not intelligent enough to understand that the vast majority of “military equipment” is not for conducting aggressive actions. Armored vehicles are built with materials designed to protect the occupants. Some of them carry weapons systems such as cannons. The vehicles given to police departments do not include weapons systems. They are built with materials that serve to protect the occupants. To say that that Antioch should not accept decommissioned militarily vehicles, is, in effect, saying that Antioch does not want our police officers to be offered protection while dealing with criminals who have access to powerful munitions and Molotov cocktails. To provide an example simple enough for idiots, “military equipment” can include items such a gloves and sunglasses.

Police Supporter Mar 22, 2021 - 7:44 pm

We need to do whatever it takes to save Antioch from this idiotic City Council. The APD should stand up to each and every one of them. Don’t let these ignorant people compromise our safety. Remember, there are more of us than there are of them.

Black Panther Mar 22, 2021 - 8:51 pm

Hey people, don’t judge the mayor. He’s gonna throw a tantrum because he knows he’s a worthless mayor that is driving that dump Antioch to the ground. He’s gonna cry racism and is gonna go on another little rant like a 2 year old little girl who doesn’t get her way. (Sorry 2 year old little girls)
all you people who live in Antioch voted for this shit. You don’t shit where you live. Start that Recall and get these fucks out!!

DJ53 Mar 22, 2021 - 10:35 pm

This City Council needs to take a look at what just happened in Boulder, CO. Yes, we would all love to live in a community where we wouldn’t even need police. But that’s not going to happen. Too many people out there have high powered weapons and these armored vehicles are definitely needed. I would like to see how many of them would drive in to an active shooter situation like that in their car. I did vote for Mayor Thorpe when he ran for City Council and now sorry I did.

City Council Terminator Mar 22, 2021 - 11:18 pm

Neither I not any of my family members nor relatives voted for those three. We now have three people with backward and dangerous ideas and two who truly care for Antioch. Two of the three must be recalled while the third one (the felon) should be barred from attending ANY meetings because she was NOT eligible to run for that seat! Simple as that. Getting rid of them is the ONLY way to save this city.

S. J. Webb Mar 23, 2021 - 12:23 am

Just read something Thorpe sent to some person who posted it on NEXTDOOR! He sure has a hard on for ECT! ROFLMAO! He’s bitching about “sources.” He knows we have his number and doesn’t like it. Well, Mr. “Mayor” . tough shit! We didn’t just fall off the proverbial turnip truck! You were worthless as a City Council member and you’re even more worthless as mayor. One thing you mentioned in your agenda is a “gun buyback.” Oh sure, the criminals will be rushing right over and if they do, they will have their girlfriends apply the money to bigger and better guns. You haven’t thought of that, have you? I guess not! Not surprised at all. I feel sorry that our wonderful Chief of Police Brooks has to deal with you. I bet he takes a long shower after that.

Dawn Marie Muse Mar 23, 2021 - 2:06 am

Looks like Lamar Thorpe doesn’t think much of those of us who post on ECT! This is very disrespectful of him. He says, “consider the source!” Well, bro! We are the source and we can run circles around you! Maybe if you would open up your ears and actually LISTEN to what’s going on, you might learn something. If I were you, I’d just bow out of the position and let someone who really cares for this city take over. Obviously, you do not.

moonwork Mar 23, 2021 - 2:17 am

Antiioch Police needs to get their own attorney and never meet with Antioch City Council again without legal counsel present until City Council demonstrates that it has the best interests of its citizens and APD on the agenda instead of their own personal agendas that do not represent the majority. It is obvious Antioch’s City Attorney is a complete loser too or he would be counseling the Mayor Thorpe to back off and the investigation into whether Tanesha was allowed to even run for her position wouldn’t have suddenly gone silent.

Coastrider711 Mar 23, 2021 - 6:07 am

Yup, we need some of those jets too. How about those surplus bombs. We could then do another “ Tulsa”. The comments here tell the story. Police don’t need military weapons. Tell me again how some vehicle “saved” ANY life in Colorado. The citizens are not in combat against the police and I don’t even want them wearing tactical gear unless they are part of a special weapons unit. The “hellhole” comments are really funny. Move away if you want to be occupied by your police. We won’t mind. Hard to take seeing “thugs” involved in civics. America for all Americans…what a concept.

Back the Blue Mar 23, 2021 - 7:46 am

“Military Equipment” does not include “weapons”. First of all, the list of items are few. The one that always gets the attention is the armored vehicle. As stated before, it is not equipped with weaponry of any kind, and is just an armored transport vehicle, like an armored truck you might see collecting money for banks on our streets every day. Prior to APD’s current transport vehicle, used only during hazardous details by their SWAT team, they drove to a SWAT detail in a donated “ice cream truck”. Imagine that for a moment. The back door opening up and SWAT members debarking from an ice cream truck.

The times are dangerous right now. Criminals don’t care who they harm or kill. Believe me, we want those brave officers risking their lives to protect yours. They’re not perfect, but who is.

No one should criticize police tactics until you put yourself in their shoes and stand in the line of fire. I guarantee you would rather drive in an armored vehicle than an ice cream truck.

Why no recall yet? Mar 23, 2021 - 8:37 am

Why haven’t the citizens of Antioch begun a recall of the incompetent, unprofessional members of the council and the mush mouth mayor yet? Im guessing its only a matter of time.

Enough is Enough Mar 23, 2021 - 10:24 am

Seems some folks want the APD to show up to a gun fight holding a taser. It really seems like a conflict of interest, when the city council contains a felon, it makes sense they’d want to make criminal life easier on the criminals. The normal, law abiding citizens are the ones who suffer.

sudsy Mar 23, 2021 - 1:00 pm

Can a recall start now? I know there is a grace period, but when is that up? The good people of Antioch have to stand up and get rid of these morons in the city council. That is the most polite way I can describe those people. The Antioch Police have always been there to help the law-abiding citizens and the only ones that complain are the others. So we have two “others” on our city council. Gee, I guess the district voting backfired big time. Who decided to do that anyway? Everyone that I know is fed up with these people. Recall now!!!!

Chris Burnett Mar 23, 2021 - 1:09 pm

I refer to the “military” equipment as GOVERNMENT SURPLUS. It sure helped save many lives in Boulder this week. Unfortunately, it was brought in too late to save the 10 who perished.

Leo Stern Mar 23, 2021 - 1:59 pm

JIM SIMMONS! In case you didn’t get it. One of those three (Torres-Walker) violated the law by running for that seat. Felons convicted of ARSON are not allowed to ever run for any political office. She spent a year in the slammer for setting fire to an occupied dwelling in the middle of the night. She should have been removed from the Council last November, probably kicking and screaming!

Clinton Walker Mar 23, 2021 - 4:27 pm

Thank you Mayor Thorpe, for calling it what it is. A tank. It’s intended military purpose is offense. It would never show up at your door on a no knock warrant by mistake. That never happens.

Putin Foe Mar 23, 2021 - 4:30 pm

I just love that word, “PROHIBIT” — Nothing would give me more pleasure than the Chief of Police and 10 of his officers waltz into that Council chambers and arrest the whole bunch. Maybe show some leniency to Ogorchock and Barbanica. By the way, the word “ogorchock” means “little pickle” in Russian.

Bob Otto Mar 23, 2021 - 4:43 pm

Tamisha said that seeing “militarized” police gives the black communities a real pain in the lower intestinal tract which, I’m sure, makes them run for the bathroom! Poor babies! Then Lori said that she asked Lamar to explain what he was saying. The man can’t put two words together and he obviously has a vision problem. Has he ever even seen a “tank?” He should watch more war movies on TV. This is going from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Mike Spence Mar 23, 2021 - 8:17 pm

City Council. Remember that you were elected to represent the people and don’t have the power or right to dismiss simply because you don’t believe in it. The people who are tearing the city down need to be reformed not the Police!! What are you doing to protect the citizens of Antioch from the violence and crime increases. Defunding and reforming the men and women who are protecting us is not the answer. Step up and make Antioch safe. You are failing miserably right now. Turn it around!

Celia Rodriguez Mar 23, 2021 - 9:44 pm

Mike, you’re a dreamer! This bunch has made it quite clear that the safety of the residents of Antioch is not their aim at all. They want to destroy Antioch even more! Remember the platform they ran on. Most of those who voted for them are comprised of the criminal element which has moved into our once fabulous city. Their aim is to destroy!

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