BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — There’s still no word from the Bakersfield Police Department on the possibility of charges against the motorist who struck and killed a Black Lives Matter demonstrator in Central Bakersfield the night of June 3, but we now have a previously unreported twist.
BPD is still weighing evidence from the scene of the incident almost two weeks ago in which a driver, Kieth Moore of Bakersfield, struck and mortally injured a marcher, Robert Forbes of Bakersfield.
Forbes died June 5, two days after the incident, and his family is pushing Bakersfield police and ultimately District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer to bring charges. D.A. Zimmer has declined to do so until she has an opportunity to consider the results of the BPD’s still-ongoing investigation.
But BPD spokesman Sgt. Nathan McCauley did acknowledge an aspect of the case that might deserve special scrutiny. The Forbes family’s attorney certainly thinks it does.
“Here’s what happened: The Bakersfield Police Department has confirmed that he has racist, bigoted Nazi tattoos,” said Amar Shergill, the Sacramento attorney retained by the Forbers family.
The BPD has not identified Moore as the driver, but on social media Moore himself has admitted having been behind the wheel, and video from the scene depicts a driver who matches his description. BPD would say only that it is “aware of the tattoos” on the driver and what they represent.
This is what Moore’s “1488” tattoo represents: The number 14 refers to a 14-word statement made in 1985 by the late neo-Nazi leader David Lane: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” The number 88 refers to the eighth letter of the alphabet, “H” — so “88” is “HH,” or “Heil Hitler.”
“So when you see somebody like that … they’re not credible,” Shergill said. “You just go by the facts and the facts in this case are that he’s speeding and breaking the law, killed somebody and should be arrested and prosecuted.”
It’s important to note that Shergill is not alleging intent by Moore, based on any alleged violent ideology, but rather his credibility.
BPD has given no indication that Moore’s personal beliefs, political or otherwise, might be a factor in the investigation. Rather, the few statements the department has made about the case suggest they are looking at Moore’s speed relative to the conditions present at the time of the accident that night — that is to say, the sudden brake lights of two cars well ahead of his, slowing and going around something or someone in the dark roadway.
Is this new information relevant, given the apparently random nature of the incident? Forbes’ family thinks so – but they don’t get a vote.
Continued efforts to reach Moore were unsuccessful.