On Saturday, Antioch City Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker took to social media to announce she would request the hiring of 4 additional Antioch Police Officers. She then deleted the video.
The video, now deleted, was nearly 17-minutes long and called for a focus in the Sycamore Corridor and will bring a proposal to the Mayor and Police Chief at the July 27 City Council meeting to hire four additional officers. She is also calling for police chief Tammany Brooks to remove officer Tom Lenderman from the community detail that engages with the homeless and place him on another assignment.
During the video, she apologized to the Sycamore corridor for decades of mistreatment and lack of services.
While visiting the Sycamore corridor, she requested an Antioch Police standby as a precaution for her safety.
Transcript of the video (actual videos embedded below)
“So it’s a really nice day in Antioch, hello everyone, thought I’d go live because there is a lot on my mind and a lot on my heart so I figured I’d get it off my chest. You know, hello Antioch, this is Tamisha Torres-Walker, I am your councilmember for District 1 here in the city of Antioch and it is Saturday and most of us are enjoying this beautiful day with our families. Umm, a lot of people are on vacation, so I really wanted to come on here and do this live because leadership is complex and its not easy and a lot of people think they know everything they need to know about me and they don’t.
Last Tuesday, I spent some time at the Quick Stop on Sycamore with the County as they were educating residents on the vaccine. And, you know, I had a lot of concerns while I was there, and you know after leaving that day and there was this previous article that was posted about the Sycamore corridor being one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Antioch for decades. Not just recently but for a very long time, this particular community has been overlooked.
So this last week I have been going out there, business owners have been emailing me. I gave out my card and I went and talked to owners who said they were at the end of their rope. Business owners who have invested everything they have, their last into their businesses right in that little shopping center where there is the Quick Stop and JJ Fish, you have folks who have said they have invested their last and they haven’t been able to pay their rent. Their business expenses are not going to make a profit because of the activity in the area. Quick Stop is a corporation, it’s a franchise, its pulling out of the Sycamore area, that particular store owner, doesn’t want to leave, so the Quick Stop franchise has given the owner an opportunity to buy them out because its too much of a liability to stay in business in the Sycamore corridor. This business owner is going to have to go independent from the franchise because they said that store has been there 30-years and some of the stories I heard really concerned me.
So I sent the email to the mayor, the police chief, the city manager and the city attorney to see what we can do to really look closely at the Sycamore corridor and that community. Especially on the corner of Sycamore and L Street. It’s been a slow process but things have been moving and the chief is on vacation right now but will be back Monday.
But today, I went back to talk to the store owners again and like people are at their wits end and its because they are losing everything and its because this community has not been a priority.
So why am I saying leadership is complicated, its complicated because on one hand, like, I absolutely believe in police accountability, transparency and reform, and on the other hand I also believe in helping communities and keeping them safe. Something is just not adding up in that particular community.
You know, this is where the hard decisions have to be made and I think the city council, myself included, needs to have a real conversation about what do we do in the Sycamore Corridor in that community to make that community safe. You know, some of the biggest challenges are trying to figure all of this out and in reality there is no way to get around the fact that we need more patrol in the area.
Business owners are asking for help, residents are asking for help and I can’t ignore that. I have no agenda here, I just want to help people and right now people are saying we need help. I don’t want to keep paying these high rents and we cant even come outside of our house. Our kids can’t even play outside, we cant even go to the store.
So, I am here today to say I feel so bad for this community and I think we need to really look at increasing Antioch Police by four additional Officers. The reason why I am saying this is because there used to be a focus in this community and it was called proactive policing and that went away a long time ago and so I know police do not prevent crime, they show up after a crime or harm that is already committed. But if we really are going to commit in this community here in Antioch, we gotta do what’s best for Antioch and what is best for Antioch residents and I cannot ignore the voices of business owners, homeowners and community members who want their community to be safe on Sycamore/
We need to do proactive policing in the city of Antioch and so right now, today, I am asking the Mayor of Antioch to bring to the agenda a discussion on increasing the Antioch Police Department by four additional officers so that we can do some proactive policing, proactive community policing in the Sycamore corridor and get business owners, residents, homeowners some relief and an opportunity to live safe in their community.
It’s not that easy folks. Like the reality is I believe in transparency, I believe in accountability and I believe in quality police services and until we can get to a point in society where no longer need these systems, right now, there are people in the Sycamore corridor, business owners, homeowners, community members who are saying we don’t know what to do. We cant do this no more, we cant do this no more, we need some help.
This is like a super tough decisions. I spent some time talking to some officers from APD today as I was out in the Sycamore community and I just cant imagine, I don’t even live there, I can’t imagine what this community is going through on the daily and just talking to business owners we have to do something.
You have individuals threatening to take the law into their own hands if we as a city don’t do something as they are at the end of their rope.
Its complicated folks, leadership is complicated and right now I am saying that I am willing to support four additional positions to the police department to do proactive policing in the Sycamore corridor. I hope my colleagues on the city council hears this plea. I hope that folks from the community understand.
I hope people still believe in me and people still trust me but the reality is communities, poor communities, communities of color, black communities are complex. We can’t let personal agendas get in the way and I learned that today. I have actually been spending a lot of time in Sycamore the last couple of days. I’ve learned that agendas aside, this community needs help. They are asking for help, they are crying out for help and they wont support.
And they know that more police is not the answer, but we have to think about the short term solutions while we dive into the long term solutions and people need relief right now. So, there it is folks. Tamisha Torres-Walker, Antioch City Council District 1, here right now before you all in the world saying that we need to help residents, residents need relief right now.
And no, I do not believe policing is the sum of what public safety is about, but right now this is what the community is asking for, practice policing in their community and I as a leader have to support that. So, again, if you want to reach out to me, you can call me at (925) 206-2340 or email me at [email protected]
I hope this message reaches the community, the sycamore community. My heart is with you, my thoughts are with you. To the business owners, we want you to be profitable, we want you to be there to provide a service to the community as well as taking care of you and your community.
And even though I just got here, I want to extend an apology to everyone in that community for the decades of mistreatment, lack of resources, and just no attention.
Thank you everybody for hearing me out today. I’ll be emailing the police chief on Monday as well as the Mayor to get this on the council agenda as soon as possible.
I don’t know if folks have saw that there is a petition going around to have Tom Lenderman to be removed from the community policing detail over the homeless, our unhoused folks in the community. I think that is something that we need to consider as a city is that maybe some things people are not meant to be doing and so from what I understand this petition is not asking for him to be fired, not for him to lose his job, this petition is asking him for to be moved to a new division which from what I hear from unhoused folks and community members who serve the unhoused folks its probably the best deal and the reality is some folks are just not good at the engagement and that is fine because we can use their talents in other places. So I will also be raising this up at the next council meeting on the 27th of this month and to the police chief when he gets back from vacation Monday as well as raising up the discussion around the potential of adding four new proactive policing positions to APD.
I am willing to hear you all out, let me know. You think this is a step in the wrong direction, let me know. But, from what I am hearing, people need relief. People are asking for this. And I gotta do my best so thank you Antioch. Thank you District 1 for voting me in as your representative and I hope we can continue to just move forward and be more strategic and I am a leader who leads with my heart and like I gotta listen to the people. Thank you everybody and have a blessed Saturday and have fun, get out in the sun. See you at the next city council meeting on the 27th of July.”
Shortly after posting the video, it was deleted.
The video comes as Torres-Walker, who chairs the the Police Oversight Committee in which they rejected a policy for body worn cameras and mobile video audio recorder policies.
Back in June, the Antioch City Council voted against a contract that would upgrade Antioch Police Department tasers that utilized technology to ensure more transparency when deployed
In March, Torres-Walker was the lone vote against community cameras at A Street and E 18th. During that council meeting Torres-Walker stated that the area they are talking about placing the camera has a lack of services and is under/over policed at the same time.
“To live in a community that is already hyper-surveyed under/over policed at the same time as well as which seems like an intentional like of services, support, intervention and prevention. In lieu of intervention, prevention, programs, services and support, we just over survey the community, over/under police the community and no real solution for safety,” explained Torres-Walker.
She continued by stating cameras and police do not deter violence.
“They might capture an incident, but they don’t deter violence. Just like law enforcement doesn’t deter violence. They show up after a harm has been committed,” stated Torres-Walker. “The most cameras in this city are in the community that has the least resources and support and its mind blowing to me that the community we are denying resources, we want to continue to over survey and over/under police and I think it’s nonsense tinkering around the edges rather than get into the root cause of crime in our community and that is why I will not be supporting it.”
Last December, Torres-Walker took to social media in a 9-minute foul-mouthed rant blasting the Antioch Police Department after her sons were riding dirt bikes on city streets. In February, she refused to apologize.
That same month, in December of 2020, the Antioch City Council voted to rescind approval of a grant that would provide six school resource officers for schools within the Antioch Unified School District.