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Superior Court Judge Says Antioch Police Officers Not Required to Testify in Racial Justice Act Hearing

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) — Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge David Goldstein said Antioch police officers subpoenaed to testify in the California Racial Justice Act hearing, linked to the racist texting scandal, do not have to appear.

The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office has acknowledged that bias has been established in this case, as evidenced by the racist texts, and argues that the police officers’ testimony is not necessary.

“Some of the text messages in this case, sent by a very small number of officers, are truly horrific. And they’ve shamed themselves,” said attorney Michael Rains, who is representing four of the subpoenaed officers.

“If the law says bias is established, that’s what the law says. So we’re just talking about available remedies,” Rains said.

RELATED: More Federal Indictments Possible in Antioch, FBI Investigation of Pittsburgh Police, Officials Say

California’s Racial Justice Act allows convictions to be overturned if racial bias is involved.

“I am happy that we have another hearing to discuss the reparations phase,” said lawyer Carmela Caramagno.

Caramagno is representing Terryon Pugh, 22, along with Trent Allen, 22, Keyshawn McGee, 24, and Eric Windom, 23, for murder and attempted murder in an alleged gang-related shooting.

Both Pugh and Allen have been named in the text message scandal.

RELATED: 10 Pittsburgh and Antioch cops charged on civil rights charges, corruption investigation: authorities

Caramagno says the officers could still be subpoenaed at the next stage of the hearing.

“The fact that we had supervisory officers within the department, and we have no information that anyone involved in this text messaging flow, complied with Antioch Police Department policies and procedures,” said Caramagno.

Shirelle Cobbs is the mother of the defendant Trent Allen. She participated in a rally outside the courthouse after the ruling was released.

“I don’t think that’s fair at all. (The police) have committed a crime and they should be brought to justice,” she said.

MORE: 5 Antioch and Pittsburg cops charged with rigging tickets for friends, DA says

Many in the crowd wanted the police to take the stand.

“I think the idea of ​​allowing the police to confront themselves, and be confronted, with what they have done, and also to explain their actions, is important. It is important that the community understands that it there is no two-tier justice system,” said Adante Pointer, a prominent civil rights lawyer.

In the remedial phase, some of the options available to the judge include reducing the charges or dropping the improvements.

Brandi G is the mother of Marcel Hawkins, who was allegedly killed by the defendants. She also appeared in court.

RELATED: Antioch Police Chief Announces Retirement Ahead of Subpoena to Testify in SMS Scandal Case

“They ambushed my baby and killed him,” she said.

She worries about possible reductions in charges the four could face following the Racial Justice Act hearing. The four defendants were charged but not tried.

The attorney representing the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office declined a request for comment. Both sides will return to court on September 8.

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