Video of a Latino man who was not even suspected of a crime, yet received a thorough beatdown from Antioch police officers, is the latest dirty linen for a department already reeling from a racist text scandal and a federal investigation into their possible cocaine distribution.
Oh, things are already bad enough for the Antioch Police Department, currently in the throes of a federal investigation into alleged cocaine and steroid distribution within the department, and now in recent weeks, a racist texting scandal. (One text said of Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe, who is Black, "I'll buy someone a prime rib if they take that *bleep* Mayor Thorpe out, with a whatever type of weapon.") The scandals are so bad that nearly half the department, 38 of 99 officers, are currently on administrative leave. And now there's another brick in the wall, as KGO reports on a new lawsuit over cellphone video showing a police beating of a man who was not even charged with or suspected of a crime.
NOTE: The video below has graphic depictions of violence.
According to KRON4, this incident happened February 25, 2022. 30-year-old Juan Laspada and his fiancee Rebecca Rodriguez were waiting for an Uber, when a police cruiser cam by and asked if they were okay. They said they were, but officers kept questioning Laspada and eventually got hostile.
“When I was about to go walk by he just slammed me on the ground and he kept punching and punching me,” Laspada told KRON4. “When I was on the ground I was just like, ‘When is it going to stop? When is he going to stop punching me?’”
Both Laspada and Rodriguez were arrested, but were released without being charged with any crime. “No charges,” their attorney Stanley Goff told KGO. "Over nothing."
Meanwhile, KPIX got an interview out of Antioch police chief Steven Ford about all the various unpleasantness. (And it should be noted that Ford was hired after alleged cocaine and steroid distribution, as well as after the sending of the offensive text messages.) “The Antioch PD will never be the same again, and that’s not a bad thing,” Ford told KPIX. “I would be lying if I said I weren’t very angry and very frustrated with what I’ve read and seen over the last few weeks.”
Image of Antioch Police Department via Google Street View.