BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Erika Baze, a mother who was verbally attacked while she was with her 8-year-old daughter at a Black Lives Matter protest by Carrie Maxwell, a Bakersfield City School District employee, released a statement today, responding to Maxwell’s apology.
The statement said Baze does not see Maxwell’s apology as legitimate. Baze said, “This is a press release from a lawyer that Ms. Maxwell has secured, full of excuses for Ms. Maxwell’s behavior.”
The mother claimed Maxwell’s lawyer released a statement to every news station, but at no point did the statement mentioned a direct apology for her or her 8-year-old daughter.
In the statement, Baze said the apology was for those who were “outraged by the video,” and Maxwell was only sorry because she was caught by the public.
Baze asks Maxwell to release the video she recorded because Baze “knows the truth on how it began.” In the statement, Baze said she does not see any other way Maxwell’s threats could be interpreted. Whether her threats were directed toward Baze, than her 8-year-old daughter, “any child who sees their parents threatened will feel threatened as well.”
As much as I would like to accept an apology, I do not see this as a legitimate apology. This is a press release from a lawyer that Ms. Maxwell has secured, full of excuses for Ms. Maxwell’s behavior. The lawyer sent the statement to every news station, but at no point in the statement was an apology directed at me or my daughter. This statement was issued days after the altercation, and only after her place of employment asked to speak with me and the news shared the video.
The letter also says that “I want to offer my sincerest apology to anyone who was hurt by my behavior in the video.” Ms. Maxwell, that is not an apology to myself or my daughter or even an apology for your actions, only an apology to those who are outraged by the video. It does not appear you are sorry, only sorry that you were caught by the public. The letter mentions that everyone should be treated with dignity, compassion, and equality and they deserve to live a life free of fear and I agree. Me and my daughter should have been met with respect that day and not put into a hostile environment you created.
I have seen many excuses in this letter. One such excuse is that you were experiencing “anxiety, frustration, and panic” over the protest. Being a mom, myself, who has volunteered countless times as my children’s school, and seeing how difficult and stressful managing a classroom can be, I would hate to see how you are in destress in a classroom that is likely overcrowded and loud. I am sorry to hear that your son was in distress. I understand that mental health is tricky to manage, however, if this was the case, then I fail to understand why you instigating conflict with the protesters instead of being inside keeping him occupied and redirecting him from that distress. I have similar concerns over you using your mothers COPD as a factor for your behavior. As a daughter to a mother with multiple health issues including COPD, congestive heart failure, severe anxiety, and more, if I were her caregiver, I would not be outside interacting with protesters if I were concerned about her vulnerable health during this Covid – 19 pandemic, risking bringing an infection inside the home.
You state in the press release that there was a woman who became confrontational. I am unsure whether you are trying to imply that I was that woman. I find that a highly problematic statement, given that I was merely walking to me car when you aggressively approached me and my daughter. Please release the video you recorded, because I know the truth and how it began. Lastly, you state “I never intended to cause fear I never spoke to or threatened this woman’s daughter.” I do not see any other way you threats could be interpreted. And whether your threats were directed at me, rather than my daughter, you should understand that any child who sees their parents threatened will feel threatened as well. I hope you understand the gravity of your actions on my daughter. Further, I seen that you threaten to hit another protester with your car, which I find completely out of line due to what happened to Robert Forbes last week. You should reevaluate what you consider to be threatening. I also hope that going forward you reassess what you find to be appropriate, as far as methods of communication and considerate interactions with both adults and children, including those whose political views differ from yours.