A number of Antioch Police Department officers are facing federal charges over racist texts and violent behavior on the job, and the city just cleaned house of many of them, with a total of 13 officers either being fired or resigning because the hammer was about to come down on them.

The news broke in spring 2023 of another police racist text scandal, this time in the East Bay city of Antioch. (If you must read excerpts of the texts, the Bay Area News Group details how the cops referred to Black people as “gorillas, “monkeys,” and “water buffalo,” and some texts included remarks like “I’ll bury that n—-r in my fields,” or a vow to “make these n—as eat s—.”) One text offered to “buy a prime rib dinner” for anyone who shot a projectile bullet at Antioch’s Black mayor Lamar Thorpe-Hernandez, which drew quite the animated retort from Thorpe-Hernandez himself.    

Congressional representatives called for a Department of Justice probe into the Antioch Police Department, while state AG Rob Bonta launched his own investigation. And as it often goes with these police scandals, the accused officers refused to cooperate, and the police chief resigned abruptly and without explanation.

But this all took a turn that was much darker than just locker room humor, when several of those officers had their homes raided by the FBI last August. In that aftermath, we learned there were also more charges of illegal steroid distribution, intentional K9 dog attacks, and cheating on professional development courses.

Now the Bay Area News Group has the news that 13 officers have been fired or chose to resign, according to documents and emails that outlet has obtained. Seven officers were fired over the texting scandal, three were fired over other charges, and three chose to resign because disciplinary measures were reportedly about to come down.

On top of that, six more officers were put on unpaid leave, and another was given a written reprimand. Among those fired were Sergeant Josh Evans, who described himself as a “racist” in his many n-word texts, and Officer John Ramirez, who wrote the “prime rib dinner” text.

“We’re rebuilding the department,” Mayor Thorpe-Hernandez told the News Group. “We’re excited to be hiring a more diverse class of individuals, some from the local community who don’t represent the past — and that’s racism and corruption.”

But several of the accused officers are pushing back, and trying to get reinstated with back pay. Their attorney Michael Rains said to the News Group that the city “refused to follow its own written policy in recommending and upholding the discipline,” and accused the city and the Contra Costa County DA of “colluding” with an “agenda-driven” Thorpe-Hernandez. (Though it seems a tell that Rains is not denying any of the charges.) Meanwhile, the City of Antioch is preparing for a wave of lawsuits from those whose rights were violated by the officers, so Antioch is likely to face expensive legal headaches from both sides of this scandal.  

The Antioch Police Department (APD) was already short-staffed because of this affai, and now they are even moreso. KTVU points out that “Out of 115 authorized police officer positions within APD, there are only 57 active sworn police officers.”

Related: Several Antioch and Pittsburg Police Officers Arrested In Early Thursday Morning FBI Raids [SFist]

Image: Antioch Police Department via Facebook