Guardian Calls Bakersfield Cops ‘the Country’s Deadliest’


Police in Bakersfield, Calif., kill citizens at a higher rate than any other U.S. city, according to the Guardian. In a five-part series that began this week, the paper labeled law enforcement officers there “the country's deadliest.” Thirteen people have been killed this year by officers in Bakersfield and Kern County. The Atlantic and blogger Peter Moskos also have reported this year on the elevated rate of police shootings in Bakersfield.

Kern County has had 1.5 fatal police shootings per 100,000 residents this year, the highest rate in the nation and roughly five times the national average. “They have some fine officers here, but unfortunately they have some bullies and thugs who often run the show,” said Henry Mosier, a retired public defender. One Bakersfield police officer, Rick Wimbish, has been involved in at least four fatal shootings in the past two years, and another, Timothy Berchtold, shot and killed three people in the span of less than two months in 2010. Police in the Oklahoma City area rank second in police-involved shootings, the paper said.

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