Facebook video prompts internal investigation at Bakersfield Police Department
UPDATE: The Kern County District Attorney's Office on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, announced no charges will be filed against two young black men who claim they were victims of racial profiling and excessive force from police.
The District Attorney's Office said the officers mistakenly believed Xavier Hines and Timothy Grismore were in violation of a vehicle code against pedestrians in a roadway. The District Attorney's Office wrote in a news release, "... a mistake of law does not provide a good faith exception which would allow officers to detain Grismore or Hines."
The original story, about the Bakersfield chapter of the NAACP bringing forth the racial profiling and excessive force claims, is below. The following story, and attached video, were published Jan. 4.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- The Bakersfield chapter of the NAACP on Tuesday published a video on its Facebook page that Wednesday resulted in the start of an internal affairs investigation into alleged misconduct by two Bakersfield police officers.
The five-minute video chronicles the reported experience of two young black men who say they were victims of racial profiling and excessive force during a Dec. 5 traffic stop near West High School.
The series of back-and-forth testimony from Xavier Hines and Timothy Grismore -- each a Bakersfield College student -- is set to a music track and includes photos of what the NAACP says are injuries suffered by Grismore at the hands of the officers.
By Wednesday night, the video had been viewed nearly 100,000 times.
In the video, Hines and Grismore say they were approached while walking near Taco Bell by two officers in an unmarked car. They say they declined to provide identification when asked by police, eliciting a violent response from the officers.
Grismore said he was taken by police to Kern Medical, where he received a number of stitches in his face and leg. Both men were taken to jail and booked on suspicion of jaywalking and resisting arrest.
Sgt. Gary Carruesco said Wednesday that Chief Lyle Martin directed internal affairs to begin an investigation of the incident.
Carruesco added that police prefer to hear directly from a concerned group or citizen, rather than on Facebook. The NAACP has not yet attempted to contact department officials since the incident last month.
"We don't encourage the public to try and litigate their complaints through social media," Carruesco said, adding police have a standard procedure for taking complaints.
By law, police have a year to investigate the incident, but Carruesco said the department aims to finish most investigations within 60 days. The results of the investigation will be shared with the plaintiffs but will not be public information.