Posted: Mar 19, 2021 / 10:09 PM PDT
Updated: March 19, 2021 / 10:09 PM PDT
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – A coalition of attorneys is bringing Kern County’s law enforcement to court.
Several gunfight lawsuits that family members claim were unjustified were filed against the Bakersfield Police Department and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office last year.
A law firm and civil rights groups named the shootings of Israel Lucas, Graciano Ceballos, Elicio Marez and David Daniel Reyes, among others.
Meraz is the only one who survived the shootings.
“It is an example of systemic inequality. We will not allow people of color to be killed in disproportionate numbers as they kill them,” said lawyer Humberto Guizar.
There was a relatively high number of law enforcement shootings in 2020, but Sheriff Donny Youngblood told 17 News that several suspects were also more aggressive – either armed MPs or attacking MPs.
Out of nearly two dozen shootings, BPD and KCSO killed 14 suspects.
“Kern County is not above the law,” said Attorney Stephen King. “Justice is here on behalf of these families … why don’t the families have the right to start closing?”
Bakersfield City and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said they had no comments on any pending litigation.