Home » Antioch Police Union Attorney Issues Statement on Text Messages

Antioch Police Union Attorney Issues Statement on Text Messages

by CC News
APOA

The Attorney for the Antioch Police Officers Association issued a public statement regarding the release of names of officers involved in racist and offensive text messages.

The statement comes after a 21-page document was released by the Contra Costa district Attorney after it had been leaked online days before—including an error in redacting sensitive information on an FBI/DA investigation. A few days later, a 14-page document was released.

 

Statement from RLS Principal Attorney Mike Rains

This Office serves as General Counsel to the Antioch Police Officers’ Association (APOA) and its individual members.  We represent many, but not all, of the officers whose names were released by a Superior Court Judge as having involvement in text messaging which she criticized, and declared “unworthy of (legal) protection.” 

As we will discuss below, we have serious concerns about the manner in which both the names of the Officers and two separate reports prepared by an Inspector in the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office came to be public records before the law in California, codified in Penal Code section 832.7, declared them to be subject to public disclosure. 

We also have serious concerns as to whether the text messages themselves, which were originally obtained by authorities in connection with a criminal investigation of only a portion of the Officers who were named by the Judge, and which do not constitute criminal conduct, formed the basis of an administrative investigation, in potential violation of California’s Electronic Communications and Privacy Act (Penal Code section 1546). 

We understand the public scrutiny of police officers throughout the nation, and acknowledge that revelations of text messaging such as that reported in this case can provoke emotional and even sometimes hateful responses.  Nevertheless, police officers, even when accused of potential misconduct, should be afforded basic and fundamental rights of due process.  We insist such rights be provided, even to persons who have committed the most grotesque and horrific crimes imaginable—why shouldn’t police also be afforded constitutional rights?  Such rights ensure that investigators, prosecutors, and judges abide by existing laws before adjudicating anyone as “guilty,” and pronouncing judgment and sentence before a response from the “accused” is sought, or considered. 

With those observations as a backdrop, we can say, on behalf of the entirety of the APOA membership, that some of the text communications between a relatively small number of officers reflected attitudes or beliefs which are not shared by the vast majority of APOA members.  Those officers, and many whose names were recited by the Judge, have now suffered the injustice and indignity of condemnation simply because they work at the same agency as those whose communications were offensive. 

Since our Office represents thousands of police officers in the State of California, we understand the impact messaging of the type engaged in by a relatively small number of these officers can have on the public’s perceptions of law enforcement officers everywhere, even though we are reminded constantly by our clients everywhere that they do not support the rhetoric, and do not share the apparent mindset of those responsible for the rhetoric. 

We are aware that the Police Chief has retained an “outside” investigator to interview each and every officer whose name appeared in any of the text messages in question.  Those officers have been named as subjects, whether the officer was simply one of numerous recipients of a “group text” and did not respond, or whether the officer took an active role in the messaging. 

We are hopeful that the investigation will be thorough and objective, and will determine culpability where it is deserved.  We also hope the investigation will not disparage each officer, and seek to end their career as a law enforcement officer, simply because they became the uninvited recipient of texts sent by others, or responded with sarcasm. 

 

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6 comments

The Truth April 21, 2023 - 8:25 am

Just like a criminal case if you get evidence illegal it will get thrown out. DA Becton and Larry Wallace had an agenda and to put this in the court of public opinion.

Don’t throw stones inside a glass house. Larry Wallace is a predator and should be in the SB2 list as well for his actions the state paid $400k for

Nailed it! April 21, 2023 - 7:44 pm

On point!!

Ryan luton April 21, 2023 - 1:45 pm

Don’t be scared to show your name bud

MEV April 21, 2023 - 4:18 pm

Interesting Chief Brooks is named in the complaint instead of the new Chief. Chief no longer resides in CA. DA Becton is Soros funded DA.

Bonnie Jean April 23, 2023 - 10:49 am

Why isn’t former chief Cantando named? He is certainly responsible for some of this and trained former chief Brooks.

Robert Mixon April 22, 2023 - 7:42 pm

I love Antioch, and the majority of its citizenry. I raised my children in Pittsburg and Antioch. I now have grandchildren and great grandchildren being raised here. One of my grand daughters was harassed by an Antioch Police Officer in 2021,: He stopped her because she was driving a new car.
His first question to her was: “who’s car is this? After she proved to him she had just purchased the vehicle, he then wanted to see her drivers license. She explained she only had temporary license having gone to DMV the previous day. When she got to my home she was in tears because of his intimidating manner.
I coached youth football in Antioch and West Pitt for a combined 21 years, and some of the officers are arrogant and disrespectful. The caveat is “Some Not All”. It’s to late for decent home training for those that chose to participate in childish, and evil hate mongering. I’m 76 years old, but I remember an old adage that was taught to every child growing up. DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO ONTO YOU! You Reep what you sow in this life.
Reevaluate how you treat people or you will reep the whirlwind. Surely what you do in the dark shall reveal itself in the light of day.

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