BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A protest held on Saturday in response to the officer-involved shooting of 39-year-old Mickel Lewis in Mojave last week turned into a standoff.
The protest took place in front of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office headquarters, located at 1350 Norris Road. Several family members of the victim were among those in attendance.
“We’re just looking for justice, that’s all we want,” said Lewis’ son, Mickel Lewis Jr. “We want the Kern County Sheriff’s (Office) to be held accountable for their actions so that another unarmed African American, Latino, or anyone of color, any of their family members should have to go through this again.”
While the protest started off peaceful, the demonstration became aggressive after KCSO said counter-protesters made up of Blue Lives Matter and President Donald Trump supporters arrived at the headquarters.
The department said there was a disagreement among the Black Lives Matter supporters who came to protest the shooting about how to respond to the counter-protesters. KCSO said some BLM supporters wanted to confront the counter-protesters while others in the group were trying to keep the peace.
The disagreement ultimately led to a fight involving several people among the BLM supporters. The department said no fighting took place between the protesters and counter-protesters.
After the fighting began, the department said it dispersed the protest due to unlawful assembly and all protesters left the area without further incident.
No one reported injuries or any crimes to the department and no one was arrested in connection with the fight, KCSO said.