BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Bakersfield Police Department responded Thursday to accusations of excessive use of force after a video of a recent arrest went viral on TikTok and other social media platforms.
On October 23rd, police say four teenage boys broke into the Empire Smoke Shop on White Lane in Bakersfield. 23ABC asked about the incident at several nearby businesses, and an employee of Empire Smoke Shop told us that the store’s front door had been smashed in with a hammer.
Officers arrived while the break-in was happening and the four teenagers ran away. Two of them ran into a nearby apartment complex where officers caught up with them. According to a press release, the officers used force in arresting one of the teens, hitting him multiple times with a baton.
The video of the arrest is a Ring doorcam video, which the owner of the camera gave to BPD. In the video, one can see two officers chasing the teenager until he is on the ground. One officer yells at the teen not to resist while the other hits him in the legs with a baton.
The video has been circulating on TikTok, gaining nearly 40,000 views on a second upload. The TikTok account that had originally posted the video is not up anymore.
The Bakersfield Police Department issued a press release on this situation Thursday. The release reads, in part; “The Bakersfield Police Department has been contacted by several concerned parties based upon the video depicting the use of force circulating on several social media platforms. The video does depict Bakersfield Police Officers.”
BPD says the officers shown in the video are still working normal shifts and an investigation is underway. Stay connected to 23ABC on the air and online, as we will have updates from BPD on this use of force investigation as they become available.