ACLU files lawsuit against city, BPD alleging wrongful arrest following traffic stop


The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the city of Bakersfield and the Bakersfield Police Department alleging the department wrongfully arrested a man following a traffic stop in March 2017.

In a news release, the ACLU says the lawsuit was filed on Jan. 26 on behalf of a man who says police officers stopped the vehicle he was a passenger in for having air fresheners hanging from the rear view mirror without probable cause. All passengers in the vehicle were Black.

During the stop a passenger, Robert Mitchell, refused to provide officers his name and other information. The lawsuit says officers then threatened to impound the car or be sent to jail if Mitchell didn’t provide the information asked.

Eventually, Mitchell gave officers his name, but was later arrested and was jailed for 12 hours. No charges were filed against him.

The lawsuit claims the officers violated Mitchell’s Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.

“The courts should make it clear that unlawful actions by the Bakersfield Police Department will not tbe tolerated,” an attorney for the ACLU said in a statement.

Read the suit filed by the ACLU in its entirety at this link.

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