BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — In light of the protests against police brutality city officials have reportedly received almost 2,000 emails regarding law enforcement reforms. The city council is addressing those reforms including requests to defund the Bakersfield Police Department.
The messages were submitted as part of the public comment portion of Tuesday's city council meeting. The volume of messages is far higher than the normal public response rate for any given topic.
Councilman Andrae Gonzales made several recommendations related to concerns brought up in the emails. He recommended the city manager and police chief look over the #8CANTWAIT policy proposals designed to reduce police violence.
“I think with regard to the #8CANTWAIT priorities those things seem very straight forward. Those are things that we should review. We know at a national level those are things that many advocated are asking for. We need to do right away, we need to do that analysis and come back with recommendations for the full council as quickly as possible. That’s something that we can work on immediately,” said Gonzales.
Gonzales also suggested the city develop a six-month task force made up of community members to evaluate BPD practices as well as new policy proposals from the community.
And in a community panel with the Kern County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Donny Youngblood announced that he was suspending the carotid control hold.
During the panel community members and local African-American leaders talked about their goal to increase trust between law enforcement and the black community. The sheriff addressed the low number of African-Americans working for the sheriff's office where only 2.7 percent are currently employed there.