BPD Internal Affairs investigating officer's use of "blackface" makeup prior to being hired

BPD: Officer
Posted at 5:37 PM, Jun 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 17:02:15-04

(UPDATE June 29, 2 p.m.) The Bakersfield Police officer who was under investigation for wearing “blackface” makeup as part of a Halloween costume over a decade ago has been restored to full duty.

The Bakersfield Police Department announced it has directed Internal Affairs to investigate the matter of an officer wearing “blackface” makeup as part of a Halloween costume prior to 2010.

According to BPD, the department was made aware of a social media post depicting the officer wearing "blackface" makeup several years before the officer's employment with BPD. The department said the photo appeared to be part of the officer's high school yearbook.

“The use of “blackface” in any context is inappropriate and offensive," said BPD Chief Greg Terry. "We do not condone any behavior that degrades members of our community."

Chief Terry said the officer was immediately placed on paid administrative leave and Internal Affairs was directed to investigate the matter. The internal investigation will look at all of the facts related to the photograph, according to BPD.

"The Bakersfield Police Department is committed to serving our diverse city with dignity and respect, and we are taking immediate action to ensure that standard is met in our hiring process, our training, and our daily actions.”