UPDATE: After completing an investigation, the officer has been cleared to return to full duty, according to the Bakersfield Police Department.
“I reviewed the investigation and the facts that were presented. I have the utmost confidence in the officer to continue to represent our department in a professional, moral, and ethical manner. The officer has been returned to full duty,” Chief Greg Terry said.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Bakersfield Police Department has launched an investigation after discovering a photo on social media where one of its officers wore blackface as part of a Halloween costume sometime before 2010.
The photo was included in the officer’s high school yearbook and taken several years before the officer became employed with the department, according to a news release. The department said an officer saw the post and let a supervisor know about it.
The officer — not named in the release — has been placed on paid administrative leave and Internal Affairs is investigating.
Police Chief Greg Terry said, “The use of ‘blackface’ in any context is inappropriate and offensive. We do not condone any behavior that degrades members of our community. The Bakersfield Police Department is committed to serving our diverse city with dignity and respect, and we are taking immediate action to ensure that standard is met in our hiring process, our training, and our daily actions.”