BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – It’s no secret that Kern sees some of the highest officer firing rates with involvement in the country. Bakersfield City Council met this afternoon to discuss possible legal action by the Department of Justice against the Bakersfield Police Department. The Sheriff’s Department has already reached an agreement with the California Department of Justice. The city seems to be considering the same allegations, but everything is happening behind closed doors.
The state’s Department of Justice investigated the police department and the sheriff’s office from 2016 to last year, accusing the prosecution of violations ranging from the excessive use of force to improper stops and seizures. The state sued the sheriff’s office and closed the case in December when KCSO agreed to abide by new rules.
That settlement required the county to hire more MPs and provide more body-worn cameras. MEPs are now obliged to report any use of force to an external observer and, among other things, to take more action against public complaints.
There is no word on how the city is handling the state investigation. 17 messages today asked several city council members for details, all declining to reply. Also, not a word yet on whether the state will sue the Bakersfield Police Department.