UPDATE (8 p.m.) — Police have declared the protest on Truxtun Avenue in front of the Bakersfield Police Department an unlawful assembly and have asked citizens to disperse.
Just before 8 p.m. protesters and counterprotesters met at the intersection of H Street and Truxtun Avenue and made their way into a barricaded area on Truxtun Avenue in front of police headquarters. Groups shouted at one another and there were some confrontations before police declared the unlawful assembly and asked people to disperse.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Local authorities are gearing up for possible protests following the announcement that no officers will face charges for the death of Breonna Taylor. Activists announced the protest on social media, stating that they will protest in front of the Bakersfield police station until they are “shut down.” GET Bus suspended service to brace for potential civil unrest.
“We received information from the Bakersfield Police Department that there may be some activity downtown,” said Janet Sanders, the Marketing Manager of GET Bus. “So we’ll be suspending it tonight at 5 p.m., so it’s just two hours early.”
She did not clarify the specific activity GET anticipates, or why it was severe enough to suspend service. Bakersfield police also refused to describe the potential threat. Commuters who rely on GET bus service will need to find other transportation tonight.
“We don’t have anything in place as far as that. People can call our customer service line, which is 669-2GET if they have any issues,” Sanders said. “We understand that it is difficult for those people that are transit-dependent. But we also need to weigh that with protecting our employees, our customers and the community.”
The GET Bus plans to pay its employees for the time off tonight, and normal service will resume at 7 a.m. Saturday.
A portion of Truxtun Avenue in front of police headquarters was closed to traffic beginning at around 3:30 p.m.
County officials told employees and staff working in downtown should leave their offices by 4 p.m.