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Secret settlement in controversial officer-involved shooting

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - We continue our coverage of a secret settlement in the deadly officer-involved shooting of an unarmed police informant. We broke the story Tuesday night that the Bakersfield City Council approved a $400,000 settlement. Without our digging -- details of this case would not have been made public.  

Last year, 17 News discovered the city was using a loophole in the law to hide out-of-court settlements of misconduct cases. The settlement in the Jorge Ramirez, Jr. case is the latest example. 

Ramirez was shot and killed by Bakersfield police outside the Four Points Sheraton on California Avenue in 2013. 

In October 2016 Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Williamson said, "There's much more to come that you don't know about."

Williamson said Ramirez was working as an informant, leading officers to fugitive parolee Justin Harger. A claim the city later denied, saying there's no paperwork to prove it.
     
Adding to the controversy, it later came out disgraced BPD Detectives Damacio Diaz and Patrick Mara were involved in making Ramirez an informant. Diaz and Mara are in prison for federal drug and conspiracy convictions. During the case, Diaz admitted to working with informants off the books.

Jorge Ramirez, Sr. has worked tirelessly to seek justice for his son.

He said, "I lost faith in the system completely. I believe that justice has not been served."

The elder Ramirez says he wants the officers to be criminally charged. 

He said, "The money doesn't matter to me. I would be happy today if we could continue to fight this fight."
     
The city settled with the Ramirez family out of court. Part of the agreement ordered details of the settlement be kept secret. That's public money. So we filed a request under the Public Records Act -- forcing the city to provide the information.

The Ramirez family said they plan to continue to fight for justice. 

In recent years, the city has not settled a deadly officer-involved shooting case for more than $400,000.

 


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