The Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office announced Friday an ongoing criminal investigation by them and the FBI related to "crimes of moral turpitude" involving Antioch and Pittsburg police officers.
The District Attorney's Office said authorities on Wednesday "conducted court-authorized law enforcement activity at multiple locations" related to the investigation.
Prosecutors said they are reviewing active and closed cases involving officers under investigation, and that the two police departments and their respective cities are cooperating with the investigation.
“Moral turpitude crimes are crimes that have bad intent. So things like fraud and theft and other types of malfesents that erode the public trust,” said legal analyst Steven Clark.
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While the District Attorney’s Office did not say much more than their statement Friday night, Pittsburg police provided more clarity as they released the following statement:
“In September of 2021, the department received information that a Pittsburg officer was involved in illegal activity and that other law enforcement officers were involved.”
Sources told NBC Bay Area Friday that the FBI interviewed a number of officers and cell phones were confiscated Wednesday. Three officers were put on paid administrative leave.
“While these officers are on leave, there’s going to be a forensic analysis of their cell phones. There's going to be search warrants issued,” Clark said.
The Antioch Police Department is already under scrutiny.
The California Department of Justice is reviewing a December 2020 deadly officer involved shooting in the city.
Civil rights attorney John Burris said he has a few cases against the department, including one where a man died while in police custody.
Clark said the investigation with the two East Bay departments will have a ripple effect.
“That’s a real big problem for a DA’s office trying to prosecute cases using these officers testimony. When people don’t trust the police, that creates a problem for entire communities,” he said.