Nearly three dozen criminal prosecutions have resulted from street protests last year in Bakersfield over racial injustice and later from clashes between Black Lives Matter activists and Trump supporters leading up to the presidential election.
While about 50 cases were referred by law enforcement to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office from those events, a total of 20 felony cases and 13 misdemeanor cases have been filed, according to a list provided to The Californian by District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer.
“It is expensive and a burden for law enforcement,” Zimmer said. “How many (police officers) did you have out there on all these nights? How much overtime did the taxpayers pay? How much did that cost?”
However, local criminal defense attorney David Torres said the DA’s office is in some cases creating additional taxpayer expense by prosecuting protesters “to the hilt.”