The city of Bakersfield has agreed to broad police reforms as part of a settlement with the state attorney general’s office over a long pattern of alleged abuses, officials said Monday.
The state began its investigation in 2016 after “an outcry of complaints” that included “concerns around excessive force and other serious misconduct,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta.
The Bakersfield Police Department “failed to uniformly and adequately enforce the law, leading to a pattern or practice of conduct that deprived Bakersfield residents of their constitutional protections,” Bonta said.
Aside from using excessive force, his office found that police were making improper stops, searches and arrests; using unreasonable deadly force against those with mental disabilities; and not accommodating those who don’t speak English.
“These are serious allegations,” Bonta said.
But they were disputed by Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Terry.