Antioch Residents File Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Police Department

Antioch Residents File Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Police Department

Two Antioch residents, Dajon Smith and Jessie Wilson, have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Antioch Police Department, alleging brutalization and systemic targeting of Black residents. The lawsuit adds to the mounting allegations against the embattled police department, which has already seen nine officers indicted on various charges and faced a racist texting scandal involving half of its force. The city of Antioch is already facing multiple lawsuits and a civil rights inquiry by the California Department of Justice.

The lawsuit focuses on the violent arrest of Dajon Smith, a transgender woman, who was shot with a less-lethal sponge round, tackled to the ground, and bitten by a police dog during an encounter in October 2021. Despite raising her hands in surrender, Smith was shot by an officer identified as Devon Wenger. The lawsuit alleges that Wenger fired the round after being instructed by Antioch police Sgt. Joshua Evans, who was implicated in the racist texting scandal. Smith was subsequently pulled out of her car and attacked by a police dog while being handcuffed.

The lawsuit specifically names the city of Antioch and three officers, Eric Rombough, Devon Wenger, and Morteza Amiri, who were indicted in August on federal civil rights violations. The suit accuses the officers of conspiring to harm, oppress, threaten, and intimidate Antioch residents based on their race, while also filing falsified police reports to cover up their actions.

The incident involving Smith is part of an eight-count federal indictment filed in August, which charged Wenger, Rombough, and Amiri with conspiracy and deprivation of civil rights. The encounter occurred during an investigation into a report that Smith was driving a Maserati that had gone missing from a car dealership in Pittsburg.

The lawsuit also details the case of Jessie Wilson, who was shot with a less-lethal round by Officer Rombough during a search warrant execution. Wilson had raised his hands in surrender before being shot. Rombough allegedly falsified his police report to conceal his actions and requested photographs of Wilson, following a pattern of officers sharing pictures of individuals they had shot.

The lawsuit further alleges that officers within the Antioch Police Department failed to intervene or report incidents that violated department policies, instead encouraging each other to continue the scheme of violating citizens’ constitutional rights.

Author: CrimeDoor

2 Responses

  1. This is such an important issue that needs to be brought to light. I would be more than happy to share this post on my social media platforms to help spread awareness and promote the cause. It’s crucial that we support those who are fighting against injustice and systemic targeting. Keep up the great work in shedding light on these issues!

  2. I would highly recommend contacting the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for support and guidance in cases like this. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and preserving individual rights and liberties, including civil rights. They have a long history of fighting against police brutality and racial discrimination, and they may be able to provide legal assistance or connect you with resources to help with your case. It’s important to have a strong support system when facing such challenges, and the ACLU can be a valuable ally in

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