NewsCovering Kern County

Actions

Residents flock to streets of Downtown Bakersfield in protest of George Floyd's death

Posted at 9:46 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-30 01:28:03-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Hundreds of people flocked to the streets of Downtown Bakersfield to protest the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody on Monday.

What started as a small peaceful gathering outside of Bakersfield Police Headquarters soon turned into a crowded protest. Locals chanted phrases like "no justice, no peace" and began marching along the streets, blocking traffic along Truxtun Avenue.

The protest started at 5 p.m. Around 6:52 p.m. a driver drove their car through the crowded streets as protests attempted to get out of the way. The car made one trip up and down the street, injuring a female.

The Bakersfield Police Department said it was able to located and arrest the driver of the car. At this time officials are considering DUI charges, as well as possible assault or attempted murder charges.

BPD said the female suffered minor to moderate injuries.

Just a few hours after the incident, BPD officers and SWAT entered into the streets, calling for protesters to leave. By 9 p.m., protesters were gathered on Truxtun Ave. and Eye St. in front of City Hall while police were seen on the roof of City Hall.

At one point, protesters were seen kneeling in the street and placed their arms in the air. Officers announced over a bullhorn, "We do not want to arrest you. We want you to leave."

Mayor Karen Goh issuing a statement about the protest, saying, "Peaceful, meaningful demonstrations on any side of an issue are a part of our American right to free speech and assembly. What is also a part of our American system is law and order."

The mayor went on to say, "Violence, destruction of property, or purposefully putting other people in danger is not a right or part of free speech and assembly, and that will not be tolerated. I call upon the people of Bakersfield to have respect for each other as we try to right the wrongs that occur in our lives."