Racist text scandal at Northern California police department at center of court hearing
MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) — A court hearing to determine whether Northern California police officers who traded racist text messages violated a state law aimed at eliminating racism in the criminal justice system began Friday, with up to eight officers expected to take the stand to speak about the scandal that has roiled the city in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Defense attorneys for four men charged with murder and attempted murder in a 2021 shooting subpoenaed the officers to testify about heavily redacted text messages made public in April by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office. The attorneys were expected to argue before Judge David Goldstein that their clients, two of them mentioned in the text messages, were unfairly targeted based on their race. The state’s Racial Justice Act prohibits the state from pursuing or securing criminal convictions or sentences on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin.