After reading about the efforts to create a new Antioch police oversight board, I believe it’s unnecessary.
With all due respect to my friend Angel Luevano, he’s jumping to conclusions, assuming the lawsuit against the APD and city by the Section 8 African-American women is valid, which is his basis for creating a new police oversight board. We all should wait pending the outcome of that case.
Councilmembers Moore and Rocha, who are supposed to represent all the residents of Antioch, need to be neutral and not take sides prior to the ruling by a judge and/or jury. In this country, you’re assumed innocent until proven guilty. They should do the same. But this is a civil case, not criminal, anyway.
Another board is unnecessary. We already have a Police-Crime Prevention Commission that, if the council wanted, could be given additional oversight responsibilities in reviewing complaints against the police. However, for now, the council fills that role, as complaints against police employees are either legal and/or personnel matters and are handled in closed session. Any resident has the right to file a complaint against any city employee, any time.
Moore’s request is an over-reach of his authority. Only the mayor, in an elected-mayor city, has the power to nominate people to committees and commissions, with approval of the council.
As for wanting this proposed board to have input on hiring a police chief, in a general-law, council-manager city such as Antioch, it’s the city manager’s job to hire all the department heads. The council only hires the city manager and the city attorney. As for rehiring Chief Hyde, it’s only fair he be given a full performance evaluation before doing so.
They’re attempting to make us more like the big cities in the Bay Area, such as Richmond, SF, Berkeley, Oakland and San Jose – all of which are charter cities, which have different powers.
Allen Payton, Antioch