Police use of force

The California Department of Justice has reached an agreement Monday with the Bakersfield Police Department to implement a wide-range of policing reforms.

The state began its investigation in 2016 following a surge of citizen complaints, said Attorney General Rob Bonta.

“The California Department of Justice launched an investigation that in our estimation revealed that the Bakersfield Police Department failed to uniformly and adequately enforce the law, leading to a pattern or practice of conduct that deprived Bakersfield residents of their constitutional protections.”

Anne Daugherty

Over a four year period, police officers in Bakersfield broke 45 bones in 31 people, and in no case did the officers involved in those encounters violate departmental policy.

Bakersfield Police Broke 31 People’s Bones in Four Years. No Officer Has Been Disciplined for It

Jun 16, 2021
Anne Daugherty

On Nov. 24, 2017, Robert Cruz Jr. biked north along Baker Street, on a quiet block straddling Bakersfield’s once-thriving old town and struggling new, restaurants interspersed with a rehab center and a prepaid phone store. A little before midnight, two officers noticed that the 37-year-old Cruz didn’t have a front light on his bicycle. A patrol officer chased Cruz to a nearby yard. There, Cruz crouched behind a child’s play tunnel, and the officer struck his arm with a baton.

Christian Viscarra

Protesters demanded justice Tuesday for a 16-year-old boy who was shot by Fresno police in 2017. More than 50 people gathered at City Hall chanting “Say His Name” and “Don’t Shoot.”  

The protest was in honor of Isiah Murrietta-Golding who was shot in the back of the head by Fresno Police Sgt. Ray Villalvazo. A surveillance video of the incident from a nearby daycare was released in 2019. Protester Dez Martinez says she saw the video.

  

The Fresno County Public Defender's Office held a protest Monday against police brutality and in honor of George Floyd. About a hundred protesters started at the public defender’s office and walked to the Fresno Police Department. 

Organizers said this protest had a specific message for police officers. Camille Slack, a paralegal, said the organization is calling for police to intervene when they see other officers abusing their power.  

Angelo Frazier

Following more than a week of protests over the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, debate continues within the African-American community about how to bring about reform in policing. To learn more about how different generations are responding to this moment, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Pastor Angelo Frazier of the RiverLakes Community Church in Bakersfield, who has been leading prayer vigils in the midst of community protests. She also spoke with Fresno State NAACP Chapter President D’Aungillique Jackson, who organized the protest Sunday in downtown Fresno. 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

The Fresno Police Department is on the defensive after a bodycam video showing an officer punching a teenager was leaked to the public.