UPDATE: BPD still seeking witnesses, evidence in case where protester died after hit by car

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UPDATE (June 12): The Bakersfield Police Department said it is still looking for witnesses and evidence related the death of Robert Forbes last week.

The investigation is still open and a follow-up investigation is being conducted to “ensure that all components of the investigation are thoroughly examined,” the department said.

Anyone with information related to the death of Robert Forbes is asked to contact Kern Secret Witness at 661-322-4040 or www.p3tips.com. Video evidence can be submitted here.


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Bakersfield Police Department released new video Sunday of an incident where a protester was hit by a car.

55-year-old Robert Forbes was critically injured just moments after he was struck by a vehicle on California Avenue just east of Oak Street on Wednesday night. He succumbed to his injuries Saturday, his family said.

As there is conflicting information about how Forbes got hurt, here are the facts as they stand now:

It was 10:23 p.m. and dark when about 35 demonstrators marched from downtown, passing by Bakersfield High School, and heading west on California Ave. toward Oak Street.

California Ave. is two lanes in each direction in this area. The new video shows the protesters filled all westbound lanes.

Video shows Forbes was not part of the main group; he was across California Ave. on the south side of the street, approximately 200 feet east of Oak St.

At one point, it appears Forbes and a couple other people attempted to cross the two eastbound lanes of California Ave., perhaps to join the main group marching in the westbound lanes.

Several other people made it safely across the street but Forbes was struck by a car traveling eastbound on California Ave. Police say the car was in the fast lane.

BPD also said Forbes crossed the slow lane and was hit by the right side of the car. Witnesses told police Forbes was crossing the street. He was not kneeling in the road, as some social media posts have said, the police department added.

A video shot by another driver traveling with the protests on the westbound side showed the car that hit Forbes had its headlights on despite earlier accounts the car did not.

Video from a red light camera at the intersection of Oak and California captured the vehicle as it drove eastbound down California Ave. from beneath Hwy 99. The video indicates the car was travelling through the intersection around the speed limit of 45 mph

Once out of the intersection, the vehicle’s brake lights were seen illuminating just before the collision. The car stopped immedately after Forbes was hit, according to BPD.

Police say they questioned the driver when they arrived, and witnesses on scene — most of them protesters — were unhappy that the driver was not immediately arrested and was instead permitted to smoke cigarette.

BPD said they conducted two interviews with the driver and thus far have not found speed, alcohol, or drugs to be a factor in this incident.

Police declined to release the name of the driver because no official charges have been filed.

Police said much of the investigation depends on video shot by people in the area at the time. BPD is asking any witness to please come forward. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Chad Ott at 661-326-3967.

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