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ACLU SoCal Communications, 213.977.5252,

December 22, 2016

Please attribute the following statement to Catherine Wagner, staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California, on news that California Attorney General Kamala Harris has ordered an investigation into possible civil rights violations by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the Bakersfield Police Department:

"The opening of these civil rights investigations by Attorney General Harris is an important first step toward much-needed improvements in accountability and use of force in Kern County.

More people die in police custody there per capita than any other county in the nation, and both the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the Bakersfield Police Department have unenviable records of high profile use-of-force-incidents that often result in fatalities.

The ACLU Foundation of Southern California is encouraged that the California DOJ takes this data and the community's concerns seriously, and we look forward to following the investigations as they progress."



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