Sunday, December 13, 2009

Antioch CA Doesn’t Want Civilian Oversight

The City of Antioch has in front of the City Council a proposal to install a board to provide the services of a Civilian Review to the citizens. Gary Gilbert of Antioch California read and reviewed the civilian oversight proposal and made some observations. So did I. The full comments of Mr Gilbert as well as a PDF of the proposal can be found here.

Within those stated comments are these:

Mr Gilbert stated---

“Statistics have shown that communities who utilize Civilian Police Oversight commission have a extensive history of police misconduct which warrants regular intervention by state and federal authorities. Clearly, the Antioch Police Department clearly does not fit this criteria. In addition, history dictates that a vast majority of police misconduct complaints are filed by individuals who are involved in and/or arrested for criminal activity.”


“Law abiding citizens who make a mistake but take responsibility for their actions and behavior DO NOT file police misconduct complaints.”

Mr. Gilbert, please adjust you reading glasses, and then proceed to read some news.

Communities with civilian oversight panels have them only as a last resort, after they finally realize that cops will never listen to anything said to them. Police are trained by the Academy and bolstered by fellow cops to believe that there are only two kinds of people, cops and a-holes. They are trained to never give up that assumption, resulting in a blind refusal to hear anything the citizen says. When the polite, respectful approach not only fails, but is shoved back in the citizen’s face and ridiculed, the civilian review panel begins to germinate. Gary, get with that reality.


A badly treated citizen who does not make a complaint is only a citizen who is glad to be free of the injustice they just experienced with the cop or have been threatened with cop retaliation or both. This is a tactic used by police departments nationwide. Kill the fly with a sledgehammer to “prove” superiority and deter future lawbreakers. The number of citizens who leave the police department satisfied customers are miniscule.

Mr Gilbert goes on to say:

“The CPOC proposal states the oversight committee will be a elected position. How does the Antioch City Council propose to pay for the election itself and the full-time salaries and benefits of the individuals elected to serve a four year term on the commission given the current state of Antioch’s financial difficulties?”

The same way any city pays for multi-million dollar per year settlement amounts to citizens wronged by cops who “make a mistake but “[DO NOT]” take responsibility for their actions and behavior”. It comes out of the taxpayer’s pockets. However, as my blog has already pointed out, it can be done without big salaries and benefits, so don’t be so quick to play the Financial Card. Anyway, no civilian review board will ever cost as much as the bucks we all fork over to settle police lawsuits.

Mr. Gilbert goes on:

“…there is no doubt that our police department will be decimated by individual(s) who may have a personal or political agenda or vendetta against our police department.”

Again, a broad-based and unprovable assumption. Why are you so convinced that there is “no doubt”? There are those in every city, including yours, who just want to sculpt their PD into what will make them feel satisfied.

Mr Gilbert:

“…the Antioch City Council does not have the legal authority to create a Civilian Police Oversight Commission.”

Only until the people vote to have one.

Gary, your point #5 is a great summation of what is wrong with PDs all over the country. Your proposed insertion of language really just says this---

· First, appoint yourself as the guy in charge

· Second, call it illegal to argue with your assumed authority

· Third, make everybody else ineligible for your position by virtue of not being you.

Convenience personified.

Results From Antioch CA


If the absence of enthusiasium is any indication, the folks of Antioch, California are happy with their police department as it is. They had a meeting, listened to speakers addressing the issue, and left the building.

I applaud them for their brave decision making ability. I hope the citizens and the police department are on the same page.

1 comment:

  1. Antioch is the most racist city in California, including there citizen, city counsel and school district and police department. I still believe their may be a few good cop but not very many. Antioch unfortunately has it's share of bad. Their the ones making mistake and not taking responsibility for them. This city does need and oversight commission as soon as possible. Bad officers need to be held accountable for their actions.