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Three police officers from Antioch, California were charged with civil rights violations following a long FBI investigation into the Antioch and Pittsburg Police Departments.

According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, officers Morteza Amiri, Eric Rombough and Devon Wenger were charged with conspiracy against rights and deprivation of rights under color of law.

As reported by CNN, the grand jury indictment accused the men of repeatedly using excessive force during arrests, including using the K-9 unit and a 40mm less lethal launcher. The indictment also accuses the officers of taking pictures and videos for personal use and bragging about their actions to other officers through text in a group chat. The officers also tried to hide their actions by writing false statements in police reports.

“Defendants deployed uses of force as ‘punishment’ to subjects beyond any punishment appropriately imposed by the criminal justice system, and/or made repeated reference to or suggestion of ‘violating civil rights,’ including in the communications identified in this Indictment,” read the indictment.

In December 2019, Officer Morteza Amiri allegedly took pics of dog bites on someone who was arrested. He then texted the photos to fellow officers saying, “I’m gonna take more gory pics. gory pics are for personal stuff. cleaned up pics for the case,” according to the indictment. He also bragged about inflicting dog bites on arrestees it’s a “real punishment compared to the soft DA.”

The indictment alleges that Officer Eric Rombough gained a reputation for using a 40mm less lethal launcher during arrests. So much so that Amiri said in a text that “Rombough be doing some unnecessary a-s 40s,” referencing the launcher.

In November 2020, an unidentified officer texted Rombough and asked what he was up to. He responded with, “Violating civil rights,” according to the indictment. 

Officer Wenger has been accused of striking a suspect in the chest with a 40mm less lethal launcher while their hands were in the air. 

Wenger is also accused of conspiracy to distribute and possession of anabolic steroids in a second grand jury indictment.

According to CNN, the indictment also shares racist texts between the officers where Rombough and Amiri refer to Black people as gorillas as well as threatening to hurt people.

Acting Chief of Police Joe Vigil released a statement on the Antioch Police Department’s Facebook page saying the arrests of his officers “is disheartening and undermines the incredible work our staff does on a daily basis.”

“Any police officer who breaks public trust must be held accountable, especially because our effectiveness relies heavily on confidence and support from our community,” read the statement.


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The post Bay Area Cops Charged After Admitting To ‘Violating Civil Rights’ In Racist Text Scandal appeared first on NewsOne.

Bay Area Cops Charged After Admitting To ‘Violating Civil Rights’ In Racist Text Scandal  was originally published on