"I am sick and tired of being attacked by these people ... apologizing for the racism that going on in this community."
ANTIOCH, Calif. -- Tensions flared at a special city council meeting in Northern California after racist and homophobic text exchanges among police officers were revealed following a federal investigation.
At least two people had to be escorted out of an Antioch City Council special meeting on Tuesday after a heated back-and-forth with the city's mayor.
About two dozen officers have been accused of engaging in racist and homophobic text messages.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, someone called for an investigation into Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe.
Seconds later, there was a back-and-forth between the mayor and that community member.
"You want to go outside right now? Let's go!" yelled Thorpe during an exchange with a local resident. "I am sick and tired of being attacked by these people in this community apologizing for the racism that going on in this community. You're the problem! You're the problem!"
Some residents called out the officers, calling the actions "disgusting."
"It's vile, and we're not going to tolerate this," said one woman.
"They have no business being in law enforcement," another woman said.
The text messages, which are a part of an FBI and district attorney investigation, have not been made public.
ABC7's sister station in San Francisco obtained a report containing the texts in which officers used slurs and made light of national cases involving police violence.
During Tuesday's meeting, Thorpe addressed the text messages and vowed to make changes.
"This is in their heart," Thorpe said. "It's not just 17 individuals we're talking about, we're talking about 24. I'm not sweeping it under the rug. We're not going to do that. They may get upset. The institution and status quo may get upset, but I'm not hiding behind that. This is what it is and we got to deal with it."
There is uncertainty about how many officers are implicated in the report. Antioch Police Chief Steven Ford said officers who may have been involved are not currently on patrol.
"There's a lot of good officers in the Antioch Police Department who work hard every day," he said. "That's one thing I noticed when I came here from San Francisco after 32 years is the dedication that these officers have to the profession so I'm not going to indict the entire organization. Let's be clear, this is unfortunate. Let's not gloat in this; this is very, very unfortunate to the city, this organization, and this profession."