BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — After four days of consecutive protests, the Bakersfield Police Department released an official statement regarding events Monday night.
Monday brought the fourth day of protesting in the Bakersfield area for the death of George Floyd, who died on May 25 after being detained by Minneapolis police. Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.
Since Floyd's death, protests have sparked attention throughout the nation, including here in Bakersfield. Starting Friday, protests have taken place, majority starting in the Downtown Bakersfield area.
"[BPD] Chief Greg Terry and the men and women of the Bakersfield Police Department support the constitutional rights of all persons to gather and be heard," BPD said in a release early Monday morning.
Protests for Bakersfield began Friday. Friday's protest began peacefully but eventually ended in some arrests after BPD declared the gathering unlawful. Over the weekend, protests continued in Downtown Bakersfield, with a total of nine arrests made over the weekend at a local protest.
But recent gatherings brought a different story, as it looked like BPD began to pull back.
"We appreciate the peaceful and orderly manner in which these events were held, with the opportunity to focus on a critical issue for our time."
Sunday night's protest brought less police presence, as police presence was not observed in plain sight for over six hours of protesting. As of midnight Tuesday morning, no reported arrests were made during Monday night's protest.
Gatherings on Monday night brought a peaceful gathering at the Liberty Bell, off Truxtun Avenue. Riverlakes Community Church Pastor Angelo Frazier called on the community to come together as a whole.
BPD reported by 6:30 p.m. Monday, about 250 demonstrators gathered in front of the Bakersfield Police Department to bring attention to the issue of deaths in police custody, particularly the death of George Floyd.
BPD stated that while some marching by protesters obstructed downtown traffic for a short period, it concluded without any criminal activity.
The department noted that one arrest was made Monday night, for a man accused of Driving Under the Influence and detonating an illegal firework near the demonstration. BPD could not confirm at the time whether this person was related to protesters.
As the Bakersfield Police Department attempts to mend community bridges, they are inviting residents to attend a Zoom meeting with Chief Terry and a panel of local experts and community organizers at 1:30 PM on June 2nd. Prior email registration is required; please email us at bpdcommunity@Bakersfieldpd.us to register.