The Kern County Sheriff’s Department in California is facing a civil lawsuit involving excessive force stemming from a September incident where a suspect was forcefully taken in custody inside an East Bakersfield convenience store.
The announcement comes less than a month after Attorney General Kamala Harris announced a California Department of Justice investigation into KCSO and Bakersfield Police for allegations of civil rights violations and excessive force.
ABC15's sister station, 23ABC, was given a KCSO report, a personnel complaint with pictures and surveillance video from the incident on September 3rd at a Fastrip on Niles Street. Local attorney Kathleen Faulkner is representing Jarred Michael Allen in a civil case against the Sheriff’s Department, which specifically names Deputy Jason Ackerman and Deputy Erik Loera in the allegations.
In the KCSO personnel complaint document Allen says Deputy Ackerman and Deputy Loera “beat me severely in the face with his fists, and struck me repeatedly with his club causing broken bones in (my) legs.” Faulkner’s Law office provided 23ABC with pictures of Allen, and Deputy Ackerman taken by KCSO investigators after the alleged beating.
The pictures show a bloodied Allen both on the ground, and later being loaded on medical stretcher transported to a local hospital. The pictures also show Deputy Ackerman with injuries to his hand, and legs.
According to the KCSO investigation report, Deputy Ackerman suffered a swollen right hand, and was medically evaluated and treated at Kern Medical for his injuries.
According to KCSO investigators, Deputies were called to the Fastrip on September 3rd after store employees stated Allen was “disturbing the peace” and was refusing to leave. When Deputies arrived at the convenience store they contacted Allen, and believed he could “be possibly armed with a sharp object or other weapon,” according to the report.
Deputy Ackerman and Deputy Loera told investigators they instructed Allen to “place his hands on the back of his head,” but moments later Deputy Loera says Allen “began to swing his arms with closed fist violently toward Deputy Ackerman,” nearly striking him and another deputy.
Deputies told investigators Allen kicked at them, and was acting erratic preventing them from taking him into custody. That’s when, according to the report, deputies “feared Allen would use a glass bottle located on a counter behind them as a weapon,” and moments later Allen was slammed to the ground, as seen in surveillance video from the date of the incident.
In the KCSO report, deputies say Allen continually resisted arrest, and their orders. Deputies say they couldn’t use a Taser to subdue Allen because there were several deputies nearby who could also be struck.
For nearly a minute surveillance videos shows two deputies Ackerman and Loera struggling to arrest Allen, then deputy Loera begins to strike Allen with his baton.
Deputy Ackerman tells investigators he struck Allen up to six times, and also used pepper spray to arrest Allen.
According to the KCSO report deputies located gray brass knuckles and heroin moments after Allen was taken into custody.
Allen was charged with two counts of resisting arrest, a felony count of possessing brass knuckles and several drug charges. According to the Allen’s attorney Kathleen Faukner once she asked to have the surveillance shown in court, the District Attorney’s Office reduced the charges against Allen, and he accepted plea deal.
Allen’s attorney tells 23ABC that she has contacted the Attorney General office and says that they are interested in the case and will be investigating it.
“Bad cops get good cops killed,” said Faulkner. “I think that’s why it’s essential that we get the public’s trust back in law enforcement and get rid of the bad cops,” added Faulkner.
A spokesperson with KCSO told 23ABC News on Wednesday the department cannot comment on the incident because there is an open administrative investigation into it.