My comments made during the BPD-CC meeting on October 28,2020:
Good evening. My name is Julie Solis and I'm a community activist and candidate for CA State Assembly District 34. I fight for police reform alongside my neighbors, friends, and family. I'd like to thank our brave officers and first responders who continue to serve during this deadly pandemic. The police state has always used violence and surveillance to monitor, control, and terrorize communities in Kern County. In response, our communities are rising to fight these oppressive cycles. When we say Defund the Police, we mean reducing the size, budgets, and power of all institutions that survey, police, punish, incarcerate and kill Black and Brown people, and investing in and building entirely new community infrastructures that will produce genuine safety and sustainability for our communities. We need to invest in our community and build trust. We need body cameras that are controlled by an independent oversight committee. We need BPD to stand with our community because every resident deserves safety. We need to make sure that officers who violate the law cannot continue bouncing from department to department. We need to create a process to remove abusive police from the streets and protect people of color targeted by police violence. We need to reduce barriers to seek civil liability against police officers that violate a person's civil rights. Kern County is no stranger to police brutality and obstruction of the civil rights of its residents. BPD is responsible for the climate. The hierarchy in Kern is apparent as our lawless officers stand subordinate to corrupt "law and order" leaders. Kern County is #1 in the US for cops killing civilians. This is not to be proud of. We deserve better. Let's continue the fight! Thank you for the opportunity to discuss issues that continue to rise in my community. I look forward to BPD bridging a newly found relationship between the fractured BPD and our frightened community. Peace is the presence of justice. Let's strive to create a community that we ALL feel safe in. Thank you.
*The Bakersfield Police Department Community Collaborative (BPD-CC) held a community ZOOM meeting to seek community input on local police reform efforts. Tonight was the first of three sessions. Please join me and register for the next community meeting on Saturday, November 7, at noon. Message Julie Solis if you're interested in joining the next meeting.