UPDATE (3:07 p.m.): The BPD issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
“The Bakersfield Police Department is in the process of reviewing a document released by the ACLU. This document was issued without engaging our organization or providing us with any opportunity to review, fact-check or provide comment or clarification on their conclusions.
“The department has serious concerns regarding the advocacy group’s latest use of out-of-context statistics which appear to be a coordinated attempt to generate publicity. The misinformation contained in the document is irresponsible and without regard for the men and women who put their lives at risk every day to protect the community. The allegations are not credible and do not in any way represent a legitimate review of the Bakersfield Police Department.
“As a professional law enforcement organization we are committed to protecting our community and professionally serving all of our residents with respect, compassion, and accountability. We will continue to work with our community to transparently provide accurate information and address concerns. We will not let this latest attack distract us from our mission.”
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A new report by the ACLU of Southern California says the Bakersfield Police Department continues to regularly use excessive force, injuring or killing primarily people of color.
“BPD remains one of the deadliest police departments in the state and country, shooting unarmed individuals and people with mental illness or impairment with alarming frequency, and killing Black and Latino people in the vast majority of deadly force cases,” the report says.
17 News is reaching out to BPD officials for comment.
The ACLU says little has changed since its 2017 report on deadly shootings, beatings and canine attacks by Kern County law enforcement.
“The Bakersfield Police Department has carried out discriminatory and harmful practices against the people of Bakersfield for far too long,” ACLU staff attorney Stephanie Padilla said in a news release. “It is long past time for the (Department of Justice) and the city to bring these abuses to an end.”
The state Department of Justice investigated the BPD and the sheriff’s office from 2016 until last year over allegations ranging from excessive use of force to unreasonable stops and seizures. The state sued the sheriff’s office, settling the case in December when KCSO agreed to follow new rules.