NewsCovering Kern County


Black and Brown Unity Cookout held in memory of Robert Forbes

Forbes family is seeking justice in his death
Posted at 3:25 AM, Jun 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-14 06:25:44-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — A crowd filled the Riverwalk park on Saturday, from noon throughout the evening for the first annual Black and Brown Unity Cookout.

The cookout was full of music, food, and several speakers expressing the purpose of coming together during what they describe as a crisis.

"It's just about community unity and just trying to get everybody together," said Jay Gerard, an organizer for the cookout.

"We are just trying to have all families, all friends all loved ones come out and eat together and laugh together. The whole fuel behind this is Rest in Peace to Mr. Forbes. We were out marching one night and I was there throughout the whole thing. I just seen how everyone just came together and it made me feel alive."

Throughout the event Robert Forbes family and lawyer shared they want the man who hit Forbes on June 3 to be arrested and prosecuted.

They add that they believe the driver accelerated and intentionally hit Forbes.

The Bakersfield Police Department has confirmed that he had racist and bigoted Nazi tattoos," said Amar Shergill.

"Anybody who has those tattoos they have a depraved indifference to humanity. This person is a violent bigot looking for the genocide of all people of color."

According to the Bakersfield Police department the area where Forbes was hit on June 3rd on the 3100 block of California Avenue.

"The speed limit is 45 miles-per-hour and based off of estimates from their Major Collision Investigation Team, the driver was traveling at a speed of 45 miles-per-hour."

"The police department says that he was driving just below the speed limit, but he is still breaking the law because there’s a basic speed law in California," Shergill said.

"It says you should be driving a reasonable speed for the conditions at all times. So if in Bakersfield if there is a heavy valley fog and you’re driving at the speed limit you may get pulled over by an officer and get a ticket, rightly so-- in this case it's the same thing."

The organizer of the cookout shares that he was there the night the Forbes. He had this to say about the incident.
"Only God and that man himself can answer if it was racially driven, if it was on purpose or an accident," Gerard said.

"I’m not him he can say-- we don’t know what it was. Given his background and some tattoos, it would draw me to think that but it could have been an accident at the same time but only God and him know."