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Justice for Students brutally beaten and arrested by Police for walking down the street
SIGN THE PETITION! Justice for Students Brutally Beaten and Arrested by Police for Walking Down the Street. What We Want? 1. BPD To Put Officers On Administrative Leave Immediately 2. The D.A. to File Charges Against The Officers 3. City Council To Adopt An Effective Community Police Oversight Committee 4. City Council To Approve The Budget For Body Cameras 5. FBI & US. Attorney Office To File Charges Against The Officers under Title 18 U.S. Code § 242 - Deprivation of rights under color of law 6. Attorney General To Include This Pattern Of Behavior In Their Investigation 7. Falsified Charges Against Timothy & Xavier To Be Dismissed- Accomplished: The DA dropped the charges. Bakersfield, California – January 21, 2017 – Timothy Grismore and Xavier Hines continue to seek justice after experience racial profiling and bogus arrests by the Bakersfield Police Department. Grismore, 21, and Hines, 19, were walking on Valhalla Drive behind West High School around 10:40 p.m. on the evening of December 5, 2016 when they were approached and stopped by two officers in an unmarked patrol car. The two students were on their way to Taco Bell on Ming Avenue. At the end of the brief encounter, Grismore required stitches and both were arrested on suspicion of walking in a roadway and resisting arrest. After reviewing a video gone viral released by the Bakersfield NAACP, newly appointed Police Chief Lyle Martin ordered an internal investigation into the allegations made by Grismore and Hines. On January 9, 2017, the Kern County District Attorney’s Office had opted to not file criminal charges against Grismore and Hines. District Attorney Lisa Green indicated that the police officers “mistakenly” believed Grismore and Hines violate a vehicle code related to a pedestrian being in the roadway. According to Green, Grismore and Hines were walking along side of the street which is not a violation of the law if they are not impeding traffic. Because they did not violate any laws, according to Green, the officers had no right to stop them, conduct a search, or detain them. Where does that leave Grismore and Hines? Two young college students who felt unfairly targeted because of the color of their skin, wrongly accused of violating laws, and arrested for bogus charges. Relieved by the D.A.’s decision, Hines does not believe he and Grismore were stopped for violating vehicle codes. Hines believes he was racially profiled because he is a black man who was walking down the street. Both Grismore and Hines are traumatized by this incident. Further, Hines believes that the officers involved should be reprimanded and punished for the incident. It should be noted that the D.A.’s decision not to file charges against Grismore and Hines came less than one week after the viral video released from the NAACP which described the interaction where Grismore alleges the assault by the officers. Additionally, the video came several weeks after then California Attorney General Kamala Harris launched a civil rights investigation into an alleged “pattern and practice of excessive force” by both the Bakersfield Police Department and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. But justice for Grismore and Hines has not been served. As much as we call on for change to occur in policies and procedures within local law enforcement agencies, actual change does not seem to occur. Though the Bakersfield Police Department has launched an internal investigation, the officers involved, Santos Luevano and Nathan Poteete, are not on administrative leave. Further, the decision made by the D.A.’s office will not impact the internal affairs investigation. According to Sgt. Gary Carruesco, decisions made by the D.A. are not used to weigh decision within the police department. Submitting to the D.A. is only part of police departments investigative process. Further, the D.A.’s office has no plans to investigate Grismore’s allegation of assault. According Green, “we never get involved in internal affairs. That’s the province of the police department.” Grismore and Hines were subjected to a major injustice on December 5, 2016, and continue to face a steep uphill battle in their fight for justice. This is a much larger problem than mistakenly arresting two college students for alleged vehicle code violations who had no prior criminal record. Grismore and Hines once believed in the ideology of law enforcement is there to protect and serve their communities; however, they have now been added to a growing list of individuals who now fear those who work for a system who seems to be working against them because they are black.’ Where is justice? We need it now.