Home » Becton Issues Statement on Disclosure of Racist Texts in Felony Case

Becton Issues Statement on Disclosure of Racist Texts in Felony Case

Conta Costa County District Attorney's Office

by CC News
District Attorney Diana Becton

Today, Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Clare Maier ruled on the disclosure of information that centers on racist text messages exchanged by Antioch Police officers.

For over a year, the FBI and the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office have engaged in a joint federal and state criminal investigation of sworn law enforcement officers from the Antioch Police Department and Pittsburg Police Department. The broad range of offenses under investigation involve crimes of moral turpitude.

Due to the sensitivity and scope of the investigation, a court procedure was established to balance the integrity of the criminal investigation with the disclosure of exculpatory information (i.e., evidence that is beneficial to a defendant).

In accordance with legal precedent, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office has been scrupulous in maintaining the balance as the court constructed.

Recently, additional information has come to light in which police misconduct directly overlaps and impacts a charged felony case.

The joint investigation with the FBI has revealed that Antioch Police officers exchanged text messages which contain unambiguously and historically racist speech directed toward the suspects the officers were investigating.

The racial animus expressed by officers in the recovered text messages trigger additional statutory concerns under the Racial Justice Act.

In seeking further direction from the court, the DA’s Office and the defense appeared in front of Judge Maier on April 4th to present information detailing the overlap of the officers’ misconduct and a charged felony case.

In her ruling today, Judge Maier said that the offensive texts in the two investigative reports shall be disclosed to the defense in the charged felony case. She added, the reports will be redacted to shield cell phone numbers and urged caution in the distribution of the language and images contained in the texts as they can spark more hatred toward Blacks and Latinos.

The integrity of the joint investigation and legal requirements for the disclosure of exculpatory evidence is of paramount importance to the District Attorney’s Office. Our office will continue to work tirelessly to ensure public trust and public safety for the residents of Contra Costa County.

Diana Becton

District Attorney, Contra Costa County

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe

Editors note

  • March 30: Antioch Mayor Holds Press Conference on New Police Investigation
    On Thursday, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe held a press conference regarding a new in investigation which has resulted in several officers being placed on leave. — More info + video
  • March 30: Antioch Police Chief Issues Open Letter to Community
    Antioch Police Chief Steve Ford issued the following open letter to the residents of Antioch. — more info
  • March 31: Antioch POA and Attorney Mike Rains Respond to Antioch Mayor
    The Antioch Police Officers Association issued a statement in response to Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe’s latest press conference. On Friday, Attorney Mike Rains issued a more comprehensive statement in response to Thorpe’s comments —  more info


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Robert C. April 8, 2023 - 6:10 am

Another unneeded “public statement” from a local public official. It almost seems that Ms. Becton confuses the roles of district attorney and public defender.

Coastrider711 April 8, 2023 - 8:48 am

The D.A. speaks about the effect of racist cops texts on cases in the DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE. Oh, and isn’t she the boss of public defenders, too?? Sorry…how was this okay “before”….you know.

The Truth April 8, 2023 - 6:46 pm

Everyone has bias and can joke about things that I do not condone but there is a First Amendment. This was done on personal phones not City of Antioch owned phones. I wonder if Lamar or Diane would let everyone read their texts. My guess is NO

Karla April 9, 2023 - 5:40 pm

100% agree with you. Seems like you can’t do anything nowadays without someone complaining.

jimboecv April 9, 2023 - 2:45 pm

What happened with that story about Becton’s husband?

ROBERT WARD April 11, 2023 - 10:59 am

Becton and Torres in bed with each other.

Comments are closed.