Bakersfield, CA – Police brutality continues to be a major issue in Kern County and if you look at the data you’ll understand why. There is little to no accountability. The vast majority of police misconduct complaints filed in Kern County are ruled to be unfounded. Officers accused of using excessive force are rarely disciplined and are allowed to carry on with their jobs as if nothing happened. The only way to get justice done and stop police brutality is to look for an experienced Kern County police brutality lawyer and file a civil rights lawsuit.
More killings by police per arrest than 78% of departments in California
The situation in Bakersfield is a perfect example of everything that’s wrong with the way the police operate in the county.
A recent report analyzing the activity of the Bakersfield Police Department between 2013 and 2020 shows that there were 27 killings by police, which means 2 killings for every 10,000 arrests made. This represents more police killings per arrest than the numbers registered in 78% of police departments in California.
What’s even worse is that in almost two-thirds of these incidents the police did not try to use non-deadly force. They went for the shooting.
According to the law, law enforcement agents can only use lethal force when there’s a clear and immediate threat to their lives or the safety of other members of the public. At least that’s what the law enacted in 2019 says, police officers can shoot “only when necessary in defense of human life.” The vast majority of cases in this report happened before 2019, at a time when a police officer could be justified in shooting someone if doing so was deemed “reasonable”, a very vague term which, according to civil rights advocates, allowed police to kill with impunity. In many cases, law enforcement agents claimed they believed the suspect was armed. However, in 21% of the cases the victims did not carry any weapon.
Incidents involving police shootings automatically trigger an investigation, but in most cases, the conclusion is that the officer acted according to standard policy. If someone you loved was killed in a police operation, your only chance of finding what really happened is to talk to a seasoned California police brutality lawyer and go public with the case.
How do I report police brutality in Kern County?
According to the same report, Bakersfield PD used more force per arrest than 87% of the police departments in California.
Over a 5-year period, there were 2,050 incidents in which officers used tasers, pepper sprays, neck restraints, impact weapons, or dogs.
There were 311 complaints of police brutality between 2016 and 2020, and only 6% of them were ruled in favor of the civilians. This is to be expected since these are internal investigations when the activity of a police officer is reviewed by a fellow officer.
However, victims of police brutality have other means to get justice. Experienced California police brutality lawyers can help you file a civil rights lawsuit. There’s one condition, though, you need to find reliable lawyers to represent you as soon as possible. You will need strong evidence to win the case. If your lawyers don’t start working on the case right away important evidence may go missing.
If you were recently a victim of police brutality or any other type of police misconduct in Kern County, reach out to a dedicated lawyer at the Kaplan Weiss Law Firm and let them help you bring to justice those responsible for your suffering.
Kaplan Weiss LLP
355 South Grand Ave. Suite 2450
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Source: Police Scorecard