In a state where we are seeing crime spikes in San Francisco, Oakland, Fresno and around the state, the Antioch Police Department has been rather quiet since the new City Council was sworn in.
In fact, since December 8, 2020, when the new council was sworn in, Antioch Police have issued a whopping four press releases regarding crime in the city. Facebook on the other hand, just three posts regarding crime—thankfully they are still semi-posting community engagement style posts.
You can look at the crime logs, crime has not stopped.
- Jan 17-23: Antioch Police Calls
- Jan 10-16: Antioch Police Calls
- Dec. 27 – Jan 2: Antioch Police Calls
- Dec. 20-26: Antioch Police Calls
- Dec. 13-19: Antioch Police Calls
Many times, requests for information on shootings, stabbings and other incidents have fallen on deaf ears or the media access line has gone ignored. This is not appropriate nor is it right for the community to not know what is going on within their city.
The question is why?
I have an answer, but sadly, through the grapevine, I’ve been told by several people who wish to remain anonymous, the order to limit information about criminal activity came from City Hall. This has been confirmed, but no one willing to go on the record—at this point, the community deserves to know what is going on which is why this is an editorial and not a news story.
I attempted to speak to Chief Tammany Brooks about why the sudden muzzle on police activity, only to be stone walled with no response. Again, I believe this came from city hall and jobs of the City Manager Ron Bernal and Chief Brooks are at risk.
Ironically, the communities of City of Brentwood, City of Oakley and City of Pittsburg have all seen crime in their city posted by police along with arrests. Police departments have been transparent about shootings, burglaries and other happenings while highlighting fabulous work being done by officers to solve crime.
A special shout out to Pittsburg Police who have had three shootings in the past week—they were quick to put out info and have even stated they would release body camera footage as soon as they could.
Bottom line, these three communities know these police departments are working hard. Antioch is intentionally hearing crickets via a baloney of a directive.
In Antioch, because of a directive from city hall, the community has not been given the same respect of transparency and have suppressed the police department from providing real information. Look no further than the Officer Mellone case.
The Mellone findings should have been released to the community and it should never have needed a public records request to produce the findings—again, it came from City Hall who just so happened to leak the same report to members of the community to push an anti-police rhetoric since some didn’t get the findings they desired.
A side note here, its sad that as quickly as the TV media were to pick up the story by community activists calling for Mellone’s resignation or firing, the city has done a poor job in highlighting the findings to correct all the anti-Antioch police department stories they ran. Why hasn’t TV media done a followup?
And why hasn’t the city provided the cost of the investigation which I’ve asked for on several occasions?
I would encourage residents of Antioch to begin to challenge city hall, its mayor and members of the city council to remove this muzzle and begin releasing information again to the public to showcase the hard work of the police officers and the crime they are both stopping and preventing. Or, could provide much needed eyes and ears to help solve crime.
It is rather ironic that at a time when the council is pushing a Bridging the Gap series, stacking the deck of anti-police rhetoric and pushing for a predetermined outcome that is not the will of most of the public, this muzzle comes at a time when the community could thank their police department, show support, and provide feedback on social media—but again, that does not fit the agenda of some on the council.
And before the anti-police attack dogs are unleashed, yes, I agree some police reform and policy should change while body cameras should be implemented, but remember that Mayor Lamar Thorpe and councilwoman Monica Wilson each have had multiple opportunities to implement body cameras as requested by Chief Brooks, only to be declined twice. Former police Chief Allan Cantando also requested body cameras be implement, only to be turned down by that city council which included Wilson at the time.
When the body camera issue comes up again in the near future, remember, Thorpe and Wilson each declined the tool multiple times in the past but will likely seek credit for it during a movement all in the name of “police reform”. This will be rather comical and hypocritical. And by the way, police should also have cameras and audio on tasers as well.
I would encourage the Antioch Police Department to begin to ignore any erroneous directive from city hall and go back to releasing much needed information to the public.
I firmly believe you build a city up by highlighting the work of the police department, promoting safety, community engagement and transparency. Not muzzling it and operating in a silo while pushing out dangerous rhetoric as designed by the Mayor.
Crime is still happening and the community needs to be aware of it.
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