Antioch needs swift and accountable justice for police abuses

I’m offended in regards to the institutional racism and homophobia within the Antioch Police Division. These reprehensible views don’t mirror the values I see day-after-day from my Antioch neighbors — the folks regulation enforcement is sworn to guard and serve.

For every day these concerned in sending racist, homophobic messages — akin to calling Black folks the N-word and Black girls “water buffaloes” — stay employed, the anger felt by folks of shade continues to accentuate. These actions have shattered the belief and progress Antioch has labored so exhausting to construct.

I’m no stranger to the deep damage brought on by racism, which I’ve skilled in some ways. A lot of my childhood was spent in a largely white Marin County group the place I used to be one of many few African American children at my faculty — dealing with discrimination, ridicule and outright racism.

My mother and father marched on Washington D.C. with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and later despatched me to Howard College, a traditionally Black faculty. My mother is a retired trainer, my dad retired as a hospital administrator, my sister is a controller for a New York-based interactive firm, and my brother is a retired county corrections officer. My household is happy with our heritage. We’re proud Individuals and public servants.

The challenges our household confronted solid my dedication to battle for equality in each side of my life, culminating in my election as the primary African American lady on the Antioch Metropolis Council.

I selected to serve to make a distinction and create a extra inclusive, welcoming Antioch. That’s why I welcome the civil rights investigation launched by California Lawyer Basic Rob Bonta and help the U.S. Division of Justice’s entry into inspecting these Antioch Police Division incidents.

These efforts ought to ship decisive, swift justice and complete suggestions for a way town ought to deal with and rework the tradition of the police division in a way that our group expects and deserves. We’d like thorough, accountable investigations that go away no stone unturned.

Those that have violated the general public’s belief should swiftly face the authorized and ethical penalties of their actions. Each particular person answerable for these unacceptable actions must be held totally accountable to the group we serve.

Now greater than ever, I discover hope in how the Antioch group has unified in its collective outrage. Antioch stays a spot the place neighbors look out for one another. We aren’t afraid to acknowledge our previous errors, apologize, make amends and transfer ahead.

We’ve confronted many challenges earlier than — every time, our group has emerged stronger. We should proceed to interact in brave conversations about race, actively hearken to the experiences of marginalized communities, and collectively elevate and amplify their voices.

Collectively, we should use this second in time as a chance to create a future the place everybody feels secure, revered and valued, no matter their background.

This should embrace recruitment and retention of a sworn police power that displays the values and variety of Antioch and complete coaching to make sure a tradition and security strategy that builds group partnerships and belief. Those that break the regulation — whether or not regulation enforcement or others — have to be held totally accountable.

Each household deserves to reside in a secure neighborhood free from gun violence and to be served by cops sworn to guard us who meet our requirements of group belief. Allow us to stay steadfast in our pursuit of justice, transparency and accountability.

Solely by addressing the deep-seated subject of race in our personal public establishments head-on can we pave the way in which for therapeutic to start.

Monica Wilson, who was elected to the Antioch Metropolis Council in 2010, is a program supervisor for an East Bay nonprofit combating human trafficking.