Families, Attorney Call For Federal Investigation, Takeover Of Bakersfield PD
The family members of several people killed by Bakersfield Police Department officers are calling for a federal investigation into the force.
The news comes just days after the sentencing of former Bakersfield Police Detective Damacio Diaz to five years in prison on corruption charges, and a surprise retirement announcement from Police Chief Greg Williamson. Diaz has alleged that corruption and misconduct is systemic throughout the force.
Speaking on behalf of the families at a news conference today, attorney Ben Meiselas said he would like the Department of Justice to take over the department, and launch a civil rights investigation into alleged abuses. The takeover would include the job of appointing a receiver to run the force, and select Williamson's replacement.
According to Bakersfield officials, the city's charter requires that the new police chief be promoted from within the ranks of existing officers, something Mieselas says is troubling. The families of Jorge Ramirez, James Villegas Delarosa and Jason Alderman attended the event.