NewsCovering Kern County


Organizations call for police reform

Posted at 6:59 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 15:15:28-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Across the country activist groups have been demanding for reform within police departments.

23ABC spoke with NAACP Bakersfield Chapter president Patrick Jackson, who said their organization is calling for police department reform. He believes the community needs police to protect citizens but the Bakersfield Police Department does need to make some changes

"We want our officers we need our officers. We have to understand that just because we are anti police brutality, we are not anti-police,” said Jackson.

The demands the NAACP Bakersfield Chapter has listed includes:

An immediate “no neck” restraint policy be established in Bakersfield and Kern County

A ban on the use of “knee holds and choke holds” as an un-acceptable practice for law enforcement officers

Implementation of citizens review board for the City of Bakersfield and County of Kern with subpoena power to hold each department accountable and build the public trust

Implementation of a diverse youth advisory committee to brief law enforcement on youth issues

Police officers should be vetted for misconduct prior to being considered for hiring and do not hire law enforcement personnel whose names appear on the list and have decertified

Allegation of police abuse should be investigated by Internal Affairs and an outside independent agency

A standard procedure countywide be developed regarding excessive force

The immediate adoption of “a zero-tolerance policy” against racism in law enforcement agencies in the City of Bakersfield and County of Kern

A mandated psychological evaluation of police officers should take place for personnel who had more than two (2) excessive force violations and/or shooting incident

A ban on police union campaign donations to prosecutors so that they can hold police accountable

Jackson said their organization also wants to work with city council.

"Some of the steps that need to happen is our city council needs to step up. They are the ones that would be responsible for helping us with the community oversight committee,” said Jackson.

23ABC reached out to Bakersfield City Council who has not responded to requests for comment yet.

Jackson also said these changes have to happen and the organization is not asking for change they are demanding it.

“We know we need our police department. We know we have great officers that are in our departments. We just want the bad ones out,” said Jackson.

In Bakersfield, Black Lives Matter movement distributed a document stating they have teamed up with a non-profit called Campaign Zero which has created a list of 8 policy recommendations calling for police reform.

Immediate ban of chokeholds & strangleholds
Require de-escalation tactics
Duty to intervene for all officers
Require warnings before shooting
Ban shooting at moving vehicles
Require comprehensive reporting
Exhaust all alternatives before shooting
Implement a use of force continuum

Another demand the group listed on the document also included, creating a system in which African Americans are recruited and hired.