ANTIOCH, Calif. (KRON) — After more information was released on Wednesday about racist text messages sent by Antioch Police Department officers, APD Chief Steve Ford released a statement condemning the messages on Thursday.
“I condemn — in the strongest possible terms — the racially abhorrent content and incomprehensible behavior being attributed to members of the Antioch Police Department in media reports,” Ford said in part.
KRON4 reported Wednesday that officers sent texts such as, “I will bury that n***** in my field. It was a hard R on purpose.” The texts were released in a 21-page report by the county district attorney’s office
There are 14 officers involved in the text messaging. Some officers are witnesses in a murder case in Contra Costa County. The report named each involved officer:
- Sergeant Josh Evans
- Sergeant Rick Hoffman
- Officer Jonathan Adams
- Officer Morteza Amiri
- Officer Scott Duggan
- Detective Robert Gerber
- Officer Aaron Hughes
- Officer Brayton Milner
- Officer Calvin Prieto
- Officer John Ramirez
- Officer Andrea Rodriguez
- Officer Eric Rombough
- Officer Kyle Smith
- Officer Devon Wenger
Some messages also targeted Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe. In one exchange, an APD officer wrote that he would buy a prime rib dinner for someone who would shoot Thorpe with a less-lethal projectile.
“Residents should be concerned absolutely,” Thorpe said “This isn’t funny. This isn’t a joke. We are at a serious crossroads at the City of Antioch. You are either with racists or you’re not.”
As part of his statement, Ford apologized to the city of Antioch for the language used by the officers. You can read the full statement below.
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“I condemn — in the strongest possible terms — the racially abhorrent content and incomprehensible behavior being attributed to members of the Antioch Police Department in media reports. I have taken immediate action to ensure a thorough investigation by an external independent entity is conducted and the community is not exposed to any individuals under question from this reporting.
On behalf of our organization, I apologize to the Antioch Community for the hurt caused by this hateful speech. I promise to hold accountable the officers expressing racist or bigoted beliefs, biased insensitivity, and those boasting about harming members of the community.
I would like to thank the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office and Federal Bureau of Investigation for their work in helping us identify the sickening disease of racism and other incompatible behaviors within our ranks. We will continue to fully cooperate with their efforts while taking actionable steps to restore community trust in our organization.”