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Antioch police officers fail to appear for hearing on racial justice act.

An Antioch Police unit. The logo is very similar to California Highway Patrol.
Brian Imagawa
Flickr / Creative Commons
An Antioch Police car

Despite being on, “sick leave,” the five officers weren’t necessarily in poor health conditions. Instead of going to court last Friday, the officers were reported to be “attending pool parties,’ “driving pickup trucks,” and “going on brisk walks”.

Antioch Police Chief Steven Ford, who announced his retirement last week, WAS also subpoenaed last Friday. But was excused, since the arrests were made before he became police chief.

The alleged violation of California’s Racial Justice act stems after officers falsely arrested four young African American adults in connection with two alleged gang-affiliated murders.

Attorneys for the men -- all of whom remain in custody and were in court Friday -- said the officers involved in the arrests– about half the force – also face allegations of racism and homophobia in the ongoing racist text scandal.

The District Attorney's Office report concerned text messages equating African Americans to "gorillas." Other texts contained the N-word at least a dozen times, and was also connected to adjectives like "panhandling," "transient," "dead" and "body bag."

The FBI and Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office have been investigating the officers, as well as some in neighboring Pittsburg, for the past year-and-a-half for alleged civil rights violations.

Hamza is an Egyptian international student at UC Berkeley, and the News Director of Cal's radio station— KALX (90.7FM). Outside of work, you’ll find him reading up on Middle Eastern politics, or spending too much time watching soccer.