More than a week has passed since a Black Lives Matter demonstrator was struck by a motorist in Central Bakersfield and later died. Now supporters of the victim , Robert Forbes, are demanding the arrest of the driver.
Forbes’ family is pushing for the District Attorney’s to file charges in the case. Having seen no action from the DA, they brought their cause out to the Park at Riverwalk on Saturday.
Forbes, who died June 5, two days after the incident near the intersection of California Avenue and Oak Street, organized the rally as a cookout. Their message — District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer needs to bring charges against Kieth Moore, the driver of the car that hit Forbes in the roadway as he was marching with others.
The Forbes family’s attorney, Amar Shergill of Sacramento, said Moore should be arrested for violating California’s basic speed law that requires drivers to maintain a speed safe for the conditions at the time, regardless of what the posted speed limit may be.
But Zimmer, in an op-ed published in Saturday’s Bakersfield Californian, said she will not be intimidated into charging Moore before the investigation proves it warranted.
Shergill seemed to suggest Moore’s actions behind the wheel might represent more than simply irresponsible driving.
“The facts of this case are that he’s speeding, he is breaking the law, and he killed somebody,” Shergill said. “He should be arrested and prosecuted.”
There were tears, family photos and plenty of T-shirts bearing the slogans of the day, including “Black Lives Matter, “I Can’t Breathe” and “Justice for Robert Forbes” — a black man killed in the street marching in observance of another black man killed in the street — and a barbecue alongside a placid stream. Family members said if he were here, Forbes would be wearing the chef’s apron.
Zimmer says the attorney for Forbes’ family is trying to weaponize protests. The family says they’re just trying to get justice.
Attempts to reach Moore on Saturday were unsuccessful.