UPDATE: Bear mace sprayed, racial slurs hurled during confrontation between activist groups, report says

Crime Watch

UPDATE (Dec. 9): — One of the four people arrested in a confrontation between two groups of protesters sprayed bear mace into the car of an activist filming them while another man hurled a racial slur at her, a court document says.

The actions by the men and the other suspects were unprovoked, police said in the document. Those arrested were Kevin Connell, 28, Kristi Stewart, 42, Timothy Stevens, 30, and Dustin Marion, 34.

Connell sprayed the mace, Stevens used the racial slur and Steward assaulted the woman filming them multiple times, according to the document. All four suspects admitted to being present during the incident, and Marion admitted to a history of using racial slurs. He has harassed the woman in recent months, including driving by her residence and posting her address on social media, the filing says.

Before the confrontation, the document says, the four suspects were at Hageman Road and Calloway Drive where Connell stole a flag belonging to another group and burned it. The burning of the flag was filmed and posted to social media by Marion, the document says.

UPDATE (11:30 a.m.): Here are the names and charges for the suspects arrested in connection with the confrontation, provided by the Bakersfield Police Department:

  • Kevin Connell (28): Conspiracy, robbery, civil rights violations, possession/use of tear gas with a prior felony and challenging to fight in public.
  • Kristi Stewart (42): Conspiracy, civil rights violation, assault and challenging to fight.
  • Timothy Stevens (30): Conspiracy, civil rights violation and challenging to fight.
  • Dustin Marion (34): Conspiracy, civil rights violation, challenging to fight and stalking.

UPDATE (12/8): The Bakersfield Police Department said it arrested four people involved in November’s confrontation between Black Lives Matter supporters and President Donald Trump supporters.

The department said the suspects were arrested on suspicion of felony civil rights violations, conspiracy and for other offenses. The investigation has concluded and BPD said it has submitted requests for criminal charges to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.

“We are committed to providing fair and impartial service to our community. We are committed to investigating all alleged crimes as objectively and impartially as possible,” the department said in a news release. “The facts and evidence ultimately determine whether a crime was committed, and in this case the facts and evidence established probable cause for the arrests.”

This article will be updated once more information on the arrestees has been obtained.  


UPDATE: The Bakersfield Police Department has provided more details about its investigation into Sunday night’s incident. 

The department said at around 5:53 p.m., it received several calls from witnesses of a physical altercation on Panama Lane near Highway 99. Three officers were sent to the area and found two groups of about 10 people involved in a heated confrontation. 

The department said no physical altercation was observed by the officers and that the officers were unable to find anyone requesting medical aid. 

BPD said the officers separated the two groups to help de-escalate the situation, after which both groups left the area.

The department said information was obtained that possible criminal offenses had taken place prior to officers’ arrival. BPD said it has identified most of the people involved in the incident and that an investigation is still ongoing.

“The investigation will include reviewing the totality of unedited video evidence, including social media, business surveillance and body cameras,” the department said.

BPD said that once all of the facts are known, the results of the investigation will be sent to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office for review.

“The Bakersfield Police Department understands the public’s frustration and perception of the events captured on the viral videos,” the department said. “We are committed to providing fair and impartial service to our community.”


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A confrontation caught on camera between President Trump supporters and a Black Lives Matter activist is under investigation by the Bakersfield Police Department.

Activist Erika Harris recorded the confrontation, which happened Sunday night on Panama Lane. Harris says she was part of a Black Lives Matter demonstration when she and her friends were surrounded by at least 20 to 40 Trump supporters.

According to Harris, the Trump supporters blocked her into a parking lot before telling her to get out of her vehicle. In the unedited video posted to Twitter, racist slurs can be heard coming from the people who blocked Harris’ vehicle. At one point, a woman reaches inside Harris’ vehicle in an attempt to grab her phone, which she was recording with at the time.

After the incident, BPD posted the following statement on Instagram:

“We’re aware of a social media post that recorded a confrontation that occurred on Panama Lane between two groups on Sunday, November 1, 2020. Officers were called and kept the peace separating the two groups who eventually dispersed.

The incident is being investigated by detectives in order to determine what crime, if any, may have been committed. Part of our review will also be an evaluation of our officer’s response.

We understand these are tense times with a lot of passion from a lot of diverse groups. Officers have had to keep the peace on several occasions over the past few weeks. We continue to ask that all members of the public behave civilly and express themselves peacefully.

Anyone with additional information or videos of the incident is asked to contact the Bakersfield Police Department investigations division at 661-327-7111, or submit tips to www.p3tips.com.”

17’s Karen Hua will have more on this story on 17 News at 5.

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