Antioch mayor Lamar Thorpe is justifiably upset that his city’s police officers offered among themselves a “prime rib dinner” to any cop who’d shoot at him, but his yelling “'You want to go? Let's go!” during a city council meeting has raised a few eyebrows.
Bay Area law enforcement agencies have had more than their fair share of racist text message scandals, from the SFPD racist and homophobic text scandal of 2016, and around the same time, racist Oakland police texts that led to multiple police chiefs losing their jobs. Now another racist police text scandal is rearing its head in Antioch, in texts that have come to light as part of a larger FBI investigation into alleged fraud, bribery, drug distribution, and police brutality.
And Antioch mayor Lamar Thorpe is understandably up in arms, because as the Bay Area News Group reports, “Thorpe himself was the subject of one text exchange in which an officer offered to ‘buy a prime rib dinner’ to anyone who shot the mayor during a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020 with a projectile used on protesters.
But Thorpe got pretty hot under the collar when per KRON4, a constituent said to Thorpe during public comment at Tuesday night’s Antioch city council meeting, “Let’s get an audit of your text messages.” To which Thorpe absolutely blew his top at that constituent, as KTVU reports and is seen in the video above, Thorpe yelled, “You want to go? Let's go!”
"I am sick and tired of being attacked by these people in this community apologizing for the racism that is going on in this community," Thorpe said, before storming out of the meeting. He would later apologize.
But Thorpe defended his posture in remarks to KPIX. “I mean, there are people in this country who have been hosed down with fire hoses. There are people in this country who have had dogs attack them. There are people protesting and demonstrating," he told the station Wednesday. "There are people in this country who were getting spit in their face for trying to desegregate lunch counters. And here I am standing up to one racist. There's nothing for me to regret or take back."
Thorpe may have a bad day of publicity over essentially challenging a constituent to a fistfight. But considering that the Antioch PD has not only text messages that are as racist as you can possibly imagine, but also allegations of cocaine and steroid distribution, that department has many, many more bad days ahead.
Related: Judge Releases Names of 17 Antioch Police Officers Accused in Racist Text Scandal Uncovered by FBI Probe [SFist]
Image: @LamarThorpe via Twitter