On Tuesday, Antioch City Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker announced she has decided to step down as Chair of the Antioch Police Oversight committee.
While she does resign as chair, it appears for the time being she will remain on the oversight committee as well as continue to make decisions that will impact the Antioch Police Department and safety of the city. Its unknown who will become the next chair of the committee.
Here is the Statement issued by Torres-Walker:
After much thought and reflection, I have decided to step down as Chair of the Antioch Police Oversight Committee. I feel this decision is best so that I can continue to provide leadership in spaces where I’m most impactful, advocating for reform while continuing to be a voice for the most vulnerable of our society. In addition, this is necessary for the well-being and safety of my family.
Unfortunately, my work on the committee has become adversarial with the APD, resulting in negative and retaliatory behaviors from APD. My response to these behaviors has been one of self-protection in my personal life, which I understand may be viewed as uncivil. These interactions stem from deeper unspoken issues and erode the public’s trust, such as the most recent actions by former police chief Tammany Brooks. Mr. Brooks received an impartial independent investigation report, and he took the liberty to modify that report. It’s this type of abuse of authority that must be called out which and fans the flames of tension in our community. The work of the Oversight Committee is far too important to the future of Antioch, those who seek justice, and true community policing. I do not, in any way, want my presence as chair to create the perception that the work of the committee is not being led in an objective manner.
Throughout my life, I have dedicated myself to serving the community and ensuring that marginalized communities are not exploited by systems that have been built precisely with that in mind. As a first-time elected official, I recognize that I have made errors in my delivery and that my transition to the decorum and structure of the seat I hold has not been conventional. I know I have made mistakes.
I pledge to continue growing and learning and to never lose the passion I have for my community.
Thank you, Antioch.
The move comes days after Antioch Police responded to a noise complaint at her home which also included gunshots and her interfering with police on scene.
The incident occurred at approximately 12:30 am Saturday on Gary Avenue where police received a report of a large party, noise complaints and shots fired. Police confirmed around the same time as the call from a neighbor, shot spotter picked up 7 rounds fired. Upon arrival, 7 shell casings were located in front of her home—no injuries were reported.
Police said they were met by what appeared to be an intoxicated homeowner (Torres-Walker) who refused to cooperate while stating “Antioch Police could not be trusted”.
At 1:35 am, police received a second call stating the person responsible for the earlier shooting returned and went inside the home. Police were unable to make contact to investigate the shooting.
The incident prompted the Mayor and councilpersons to issue statements
Mayor Lamar Thorpe issues Statement
“I have been briefed about a recent incident involving the Antioch Police Department and Councilmember Torres-Walker. As the mayor of the city of Antioch, I am requesting that Councilmember Torres-Walker immediately step down from her role as the chair of the Antioch Police Oversight Committee.
As elected officials, we do not have to always agree on issues, but we must always agree on the fact that we must set an example for the rest of the city and treat our public employees with respect and dignity for their contributions to our community.”
Ogorchock Calls on Torres-Walker to Resign from Police Oversight Commission
Due to recent events over the weekend at Councilmember Torres-Walkers home, I believe it is in the best interest of the city that she immediately step down from the police oversight commission and all committees she has been appointed to. I would also ask that she be censured at this time until the on-going investigation is completed.
We as council have to hold ourselves to a higher standard and not degrade or be verbally abusive to our police officers. No city employee should be treated in such a manner.
This incident should not overshadow the good work by our Antioch Police Department nor the progress being made throughout the City of Antioch.
Mike Barbanica Calls on Torres-Walker to Resign from Council
This afternoon I started receiving calls about this weekend’s incident with Council Member Torres-Walker. At 12:46 I began to reach out to Council Member Torres-Walker and asked her to meet in person. This was so I could ask her to immediately resign from the Antioch City Council. I did want her to hear it directly from me. She told me that she could meet me Wednesday, but I requested that it happen today, even if by phone. She told me that she would call and I didn’t hear from her, later stating that we could possibly meet after 5 PM. At 4:38 PM Council Member Torres-Walker did not respond to my request to again meet in person.
I requested to meet with Chief Morefield. He confirmed that there was an active investigation, but details were limited because the PD is investigating this as a shooting. I did confirm that multiple body cameras were active as officers were on scene.
I spoke with the press at 4:53 PM and told them that I am calling for her immediate resignation from the City Council. I also am calling for the APD to release the body cam footage as soon as possible. Total transparency was the reason many of us supported these cameras. We do not need the city dragged through another year of this.
Monica Wilson Requests Torres-Walker Step Aside as Chair
Given recent events, it is in the best interest of our city that Councilwoman Torres-Walker step aside in her role as Chair of the Police Oversight Committee.
Antioch Police have not yet released body camera footage of the incident.