An apparent settlement in one of the most controversial officer-involved shooting cases in Kern County. It’s a deal the city doesn’t want the public to know about.
Over the last four and a half years, inconsistency and claims of police corruption have surrounded the death of Jorge Ramirez, Jr. — an unarmed man killed by Bakersfield police while he worked as an informant. The theme of secrecy continues with an order of silence in a civil lawsuit.
Ramirez was shot and killed in 2013 outside the Four Points Sheraton Hotel on California Avenue. Former BPD Chief Greg Williamson said Ramirez was leading officers to fugitive parolee Justin Harger, but what happened hasn’t been completely explained.
The city later denied Ramirez worked as an informant, 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 also involved — working with Ramirez off the books.
The Ramirez family filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the city and eight of its officers, including Diaz and Mara. Court documents allude to a settlement Friday. It specifically ordered the city and Ramirez family to not release settlement to press. a settlement that will be paid with taxpayer dollars.
City Attorney Ginny Gennaro wouldn’t confirm any action on the case, but says if and when there is a settlement, disclosure isn’t required until the city council approves it.