Sheriff’s office releases body cam footage of man mistaken for attempted murder suspect in Kern County


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County Sheriff’s Office released body-worn camera video of a traffic stop last week that has garnered attention on social media of a man mistaken for an attempted murder suspect.

KCSO released a statement on Tuesday about the traffic stop that happened on June 23. Video of the traffic stop has circulated widely on social media since then.

Sheriff’s office officials say a deputy sergeant located a man who resembled a man wanted in connection to an attempted murder that happened on H Street in Bakersfield on April 29. Bakersfield police identified the wanted man as David Ward, KCSO said.

According to a statement from the sheriff’s office, a sergeant who had worked in the gang unit and had prior contact with the attempted murder suspect, located a man who resembled Ward and followed the man in vehicle to a Walmart on North Chester Avenue. Sheriff’s officials said the sergeant believed the man in the vehicle may have been armed because the weapon used in the April incident had not been located.

KCSO says it is standard practice to conduct the “high-risk” traffic stops of people suspected in violent crimes with deputies’ guns drawn.

The unidentified man in the vehicle cooperated with deputies, and was eventually determined not be the murder suspect. The man was then released.

KCSO said it is conducting a review of the incident and released video of the traffic stop “to provide further transparency.”

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