Home Antioch Antioch Mayor Unveils Police Reform Proposals

Antioch Mayor Unveils Police Reform Proposals

by ECT

On Monday, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe held a press conference to unveil police reform proposals that he will be bringing forward to the city council in March.

Thorpe was joined by Mayor Pro Tem Monica Wilson and Con Johnson who is part of Thorpe’s transition team on police reform.

“Everyone knows that I have not been shy about the importance of reform not only locally but globally and this is a conversation that started post George Floyd and since the murder of George Floyd, as I said, a national and global awaking that has made our streets of our nation the epicenter for expression, frustration and hope including right here in Antioch,” stated Thorpe.

Thorpe highlighted because of the awakening, it made its way to US Congress, State Legislators across the country and local jurisdictions, but was saddened the conversation around “real reform” had not made its way to Antioch.

“Quite frankly, if our police department is going to do the same thing 5, 10, 20 years from now, we have all failed as a city because we have not evolved with the times including our changing demographics,” stated Thorpe. “Luckily, the voters have more foresight than those who seek to divide us based on pro and anti law enforcement rhetoric, that is all it is. Political rhetoric served to divide our community and as your leader I refuse to fall victim of that nonsense. We will not allow, to dictate how we are going to pursue police reform in our community.”

Thorpe continued stating that people recognize that reform is synonymous with progress, improvement, betterment, refinement and adaptation.

Thorpe stated today he was announcing a first step to better the police department that the community could trust.

“If looked at objectively, I am seeking to implement common sense solutions, responsible police reforms that I campaigned on and provide our police department the necessary tools to do their job that will allow our community to feel safe, respected and equally allow for officers to be seen as public servants and not an occupying force,” stated Thorpe.

Prior to announcing his police reform agenda, he acknowledged that police work was difficult and put their lives at risk daily, however, it could no longer be ignored of the structural problems in law enforcement nationally.

He called his reform measures a “framework” to begin the process to get work done.

His proposals were as stated:

  • Mental Health Crisis Response Team – this would be modeled after a program in Eugene, OR. Which included psychologist and de-escalation tactics. This would include mobile crisis teams.
  • Police Training – establish a paradigm that is publicly reviewed and updated annually. This includes a program around four areas: procedural justice, relationship building, implicit bias training, crisis intervention, conflict resolution/mediation, appropriate engagement with youth, LGBT, and gender non-conforming individuals, English language learners, individuals from different religious affiliations, and individuals who are differently abled and de-escalation and limiting use of force whenever possible.
  • Demilitarization the Antioch Police Department: asking for an immediate ban on purchasing any military equipment from the federal, state or private enteritis. No longer accept them.
  • Increase Policing Accountability: Says police body cameras and dash cameras will be brought to the council in March. Discuss the policy involving body cameras. Will be asking to independently review on-duty police officer complaints by the public by either moving that body out of the police department and into an independent body in city hall or establishing a police officer accountability department to receive and investigate and resolve civilian complaints within 12-days.
  • Establish Interim City Council Committee for Police Oversight – a committee of the entire council, interim, until they establish a police oversight commission. Council would review and approve police policy, field/review/audit all police complaints, Review resolutions for police disciplinary actions, review Use of Force policy to ensure community participation in the policy.
  • Improving Police Hiring Practices: Lateral candidates currently under investigation for Use of Force or any Misconduct will be disqualified from the process. If you have a sustained Excessive Use of Force Complaint or Misconduct Complaint on your records, you will be disqualified from Antioch’s process. Consider Implicit Association Test into the hiring process.
  • Establish New Chief of Police Hiring Process: Calls for an open and transparent process which includes community input.
  • Establish Notification System to Inform Mayor, City Council City Manager, city Attorney of when they should be notified of police incidents – no longer wants to find out about incidents on social media.

Thorpe closed by saying more would be coming out in the future as they are wrapping up the community conversations with the public.

Barbanica Informed Thorpe Sunday He Would Not Attend

During Monday’s Press Conference, Thorpe referenced Councilmember Mike Barbanica stating he was supposed to be at the event to talk about body cameras and dash cameras but had not heard from him this morning.

According to Barbanica, he informed Thorpe Sunday afternoon he would not be attending once learning this was not an event, but rather a press conference on police reform and that another councilmember would be in attendance, thus likely creating a Brown Act Violation.

“I am always open to listening to ideas that better a police department or our community, however, with two other councilemmbers present, I didn’t think it would be appropriate to have three members of the council at this press conference and it needs to be an agendasized meeting,” stated Barbanica.

Thorpe Makes False Claims on Body Cameras

During the press conference, Thorpe claims the body camera issue has not been brought up since 2017 when this was brought as an informational item and more time was requested. This is true, however, it has also come up several times after.

He then claimed they have never came back to talk about it and blamed the previous mayor for never bringing it back. However, the issue has been brought up in budget study sessions on at least two occasions which the council opted not to move forward. It was also brought back last year when the council was discussing one-time money spending. The Antioch city Attorney recommended the body cameras, however, the council opted to direct the money to youth services and homeless issues.

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Clint Feb 22, 2021 - 1:56 pm

Antioch is a general law city, not a charter city. Many of these proposals should not be taking place in this type of city. The oversight committee Thorpe is requesting, is identical to the chaos going on in Oakland and you know why, the Antioch City Attorney was a former member. None of what Thorpe is proposing has teeth and most of this has already been addressed. Glad ECT called out Thorpe on his lies about Barbanica and body cameras.

Antiochcrimeshallrise Feb 22, 2021 - 2:19 pm

Antioch will soon be Oakland or Richmond. Good luck to you all imma stay slighlty safer over here in the P

Christopher Coffey Feb 22, 2021 - 2:44 pm

All this talk about police reform and no one has the balls to say we need community reform. The culture in this town is blaming police for the actions of the citizens they come into contact with. The community needs to take responsibility for the actions they choose they as individuals. Ad hoch committee’s and ignoring city business does not reduce crime. Police on the streets being pro active and letting those who would do harm know that this community will not tolerate crime on any level!

Bill Moon Feb 22, 2021 - 3:06 pm

Thorpe complaining about transparency is funny. He muzzled the police department and will never say when he knew about this latest death. Also, pretty sure ECT has been complaining about all Antioch has done for years to limit transparency from no scanner to daily police briefs to lack of information. Thorpe talks a big game about political rhetoric, but he is also doing it as if he is above it all when he is the one dividing this community. Screw him.

Andy Feb 22, 2021 - 3:26 pm

I would hazard the guess that the majority of people here in Antioch are satisfied with our police department. For every complaint of an officer being rude or pushy I would say there are twenty fold of others being grateful for how our police have handled a situation. Wether agreeing or not, it is still a citizen’s duty to comply with whatever directions they are given by an officer. All systems are subject to review and adjustments but to call it all in need of change is unreasonable. We have a great chief and everything I’ve read about how he chooses to do things certainly show thought and evaluation went into the decision. Creating a committee to tell them how to do their job could be equally applied to the city council and make just as much sense. Asking someone without the proper background and training to tell them how to do their job is foolish.

Kelly Miles Feb 22, 2021 - 4:10 pm

All this mayor and like kind followers want to do is make it harder for police to do their job of keeping the community safe and opening up the door to the criminals to do as they like. The love affair with criminals and lawlessness continues to grow. I thought Antioch had lost the battle on crime years ago but now this will be the death blow. If you want to be safe, stay out of Antioch. I agree with the comment about community reform. That’s the real problem, not all the embellished anti-police incidents.

No excuses Feb 22, 2021 - 5:20 pm

We need hood reform! How about telling that to the hood folks that don’t care and still keep committing crimes 24/7!

Nick P Feb 22, 2021 - 6:07 pm

Antioch doesn’t have a police problem, we have a ghetto problem. Chief Brooks will probably leave rather than deal with this knucklehead mayor and 3 councilman.

Michael Kitterman Feb 22, 2021 - 6:12 pm

Those of you who are completely satisfied with the APD and who don’t understand the need for reform must not have not kept up on the department. The APD has a well publicized record of systematic behavior bad enough to make the headlines of most major newspapers. Some former officers are even serving time in prison. There has also been an unusually high number of death in custody cases, and surely you heard about the controversial hiring of officer Mellone. Even without these facts, the people of our democracy have been in support of police reform since Hubert Hoover was president, and up to today. Perhaps you saw some of the protests across America last summer. I’m not here to try to open your eyes though, and your comments take full responsibility for your shame. I do want to commend our new mayor for initiating some of the items he promised in his winning election campaign that are related to police reform. This was an historical day for our country. While every city across our country has ignored the people’s cry for reform for the last 100 years, and have only initiated reform when ordered by the Department of Justice, today we had a mayor take responsibility for police reform voluntarily. This is truly a sign of positive things to come no matter how much hate you throw at it. My hat is off to Mayor Lamar Thorpe. In my love for the people in Antioch I pray that he finds success and provides an example for the rest of our country.

The Truth Feb 22, 2021 - 6:22 pm

1. Police officers training is regulated by CA
P. O. S. T. not Lamar Thorpe. If it’s good enough for liberal CA it’s good enough for Antioch.

2. Will Lamar Thorpe pay out of his private bank account when a mental crisis member is killed by a mental health patient? I think not.

3. Will Lamar Thorpe hold himself to the same hiring standards as he suggests? I think not because he would no longer be the mayor of Antioch.

4. How did Lamar Thorpe vote for body cameras as a council member? Do the research yourself.

Lamar Thorpe is a politician and everything he says is political rhetoric. Chief Brooks has held the police accountable and is always evolving APD ahead of the curve.

Robert C. Feb 22, 2021 - 7:03 pm

It seems that Mr. Thorpe has a well-developed agenda for what he wants to do. The question is, or should be, are these “reforms” needed in the APD? Just because they may make sense in some large cities (Chicago, etc.) doesn’t mean they are suitable for Antioch. I sense that he has solutions in search of a problem.

Christopher (above) is correct. Thorpe is sadly mistaken if he thinks these proposals will lessen violent crime.

Al McLovin Feb 22, 2021 - 7:18 pm

Wait, let me get this straight. Ban on APD buying weapons. Isn’t that what police do, use weapons to protect us from bad guys?

Antioch Feb 22, 2021 - 9:31 pm

Had working people back the badge

Jimmy Strudel Feb 22, 2021 - 9:58 pm

Stop trying to fix the police and fix the ghetto. Ghetto culture is breaking the city. Raise your kids to respect authority. Learn to behave around police. Stop breaking the law. Learn to accept personal responsibility and stop blaming the police for your problems.

Joe Green Feb 23, 2021 - 3:34 am

I just about barfed watching this idiot mayor on TV last night! I can just imagine what kind of “reform” he has in mind. He’s ruining out city! The guy is just plain dangerous! What in hell happened to the people in Antioch to elect such a total loser? Are people becoming self-deprecating? The people of Antioch has always been supportive of the police . . so, obviously others have moved here whose intention is to turn this city into another Oakland. This should be fought tooth-and-nail.

Dawn Feb 23, 2021 - 3:58 am

What lies! George Floyd — the life-long criminal — was NOT murdered. He died 8 hours later in a county hospital from some heavy duty cocaine, meth and other drugs in his system. The ENTIRE video of his arrest will be played at the trail of the officers involved . . that will exonerate them. The people he harmed will testify about what a totally upstanding citizen Floyd was.

moonwork Feb 23, 2021 - 4:11 am

I too hope Chief Brooks doesn’t become fed up and leave. I support APD. First responder and Officer both shot by one person who committed a string of serious crimes including murder. I think Lamar at the very least should do a ride along and see what APD does with very little compared to other PDs and then maybe. Talk about one sided and just stale.

Don G Feb 23, 2021 - 2:47 pm

Lamar has one strike against him on his decision making of our recent elected council person that should’ve been disciplined there is where the ad hoc committee needs to work on not the police. If people have a problem with the way police are talking to them they need to look how they talk it to the police first . There attitude that they present to the police officer is the attitude that causes the police officer to be on the defense you treat people with respect to get respect back. Go watch Chris rocks training video for people to deal with cops how to keep their ass from getting kicked by the cops.

Sudsy Feb 23, 2021 - 2:51 pm

Where has Mr. Kitterman been? Not in Antioch. There are two sides to everything and unfortunately he obviously doesn’t want to hear any FACTS about Lamar Thorpe and his groupies. Sorry, that is what they are. I do listen to facts. All the facts. The fact is that Brooks is one of the best Police Chiefs we have ever had in this town and to even think for one second that Lamar Thorpe and a committee would know how to pick anyone better is a joke. And, the headlines Antioch has made is for the crimes that occur here. It is not about the poor policing. Get off your High Horse and join the rest of the humans. You think you are so above everyone and your opinion is the only one that is right. Glad you are not a relative!!!!

Tiffany Lester Feb 23, 2021 - 5:01 pm

How did this once fine city become a ghetto city? What happened? Why wasn’t this stopped? Didn’t anyone see it coming? I sure as hell did. but NO ONE WOULD LISTEN! So, there you have it so don’t bitch at me!

Elizabeth Stern Feb 23, 2021 - 9:11 pm

I want the ANTIOCH PD to purchase or acquire by other means MORE MILITARY-TYPE weapons!

ME Feb 23, 2021 - 10:35 pm

Poor thing….you are absolutely delusional.

Ann Griffin Feb 23, 2021 - 11:51 pm

NICK P … It’s the Mayor and 2 knuckleheads — Thorpe, Wilson and Walker, the foul-mouthed one. The other two are fine. How long will the residents of Antioch put up with the idiot mayor and the two that kiss his ass? They need to go!

Nick P Feb 24, 2021 - 8:07 am

Ann, you are correct, Thorpe and 2 Knuckleheads!!!

Don G Feb 24, 2021 - 9:51 am

Thorpe wants to be set up like Oakland move to Oakland. Oakland can not keep a Police chief around they have had 3 or in the last couple of years. There crime rate keeps going up. Doesn’t look like it is working. Chief Brooks is doing great, let the professional do his job. Let the criminal element take the beating they deserve and let the Police do there job.

Lulu Feb 24, 2021 - 11:51 am

People who vote these knuckle heads in Office should learn to do some background checks before voting. You get what you vote for!! Thorpe and his goonies need to leave APD and the Chief alone and let them do their jobs!! Let’s clean up City Hall then the thugs who are running amuck in this City.

Double Standards!!! Feb 24, 2021 - 7:37 pm

Well if the 3 stooges on the council, Lamar, Monica, and Ghetto rat Tamisha, get their agenda through to defund, destroy, and control the Antioch Police Department, Antioch is going to go to hell!! If anyone is paid attention, Part 1 crimes are steadily declining, the department just got back to staffing, still well below from the 126 in 2001. Like size agencies have double the staffing and do half the work. I say let them ge their jobs done and clean up the POS’s out there. I was raised to get respect, you have to give respect. Moved from Antioch due to the element there that gives no respect to anyone and expects to be giving respect unconditionally. Check out Cavallo, Sycamore, W 10th Street and see how much respect these ghetto rats dealing drugs and shooting dice give you. Look at them wrong and they shoot up your car. You think Antioch is bad now, just wait for the 3 Stooges to get that agenda in place!! Remember, they were voted in!! Where’s the transparency on the council? Tamisha can rant rave and threaten Officers after her hood rat kids run front he police after breaking the law but face zero consequences. If an APD Officer did any of that, he be fired…let’s talk double standard. Mayor wants to point a finger and hold others accountable, but won’t hold his own accountable? Bullshit!!!

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