According to TMZ, activist Erika Harris said her car and several others were blocked in a lot, surrounded by Trump supporters, and were maced following a Black Lives Matter demonstration on Sunday in Bakersfield. Harris has been helping organize Black Lives Matter demonstrations as the pro-Trump group has become more active in the weeks leading up to the election.
In Harris' Facebook Live recording of the incident, members of the pro-Trump group approached her car and demanded she get out while taunting the woman with slurs and obscenities. One of the Trump supporters can be heard calling Harris a “n****r.”
As Harris exited her vehicle, an irate woman tried to knock Harris’ phone from her hand, while another man tried provoking Harris by dropping his gear and telling her, “come get it.”
Later in the video, another person affiliated with the pro-Trump group can be seen spraying something into the woman’s car. Harris alleges that she and others were sprayed by the group with bear mace.
When officers arrived, Harris asked the police to hold the group accountable for spraying the chemical substance, but an officer responded that a crime was not committed before walking away.
The Black Lives Matter activist then asked why police let the group go "when they just committed a felony?” Officers, however, avoided answering her question.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, the Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) released a statement confirming that officers were called to the scene of the incident and intervened between the two groups. The department stated that the case was being investigated further, including how the officers responded on the scene.
“We understand these are tense times with a lot of passion from a lot of diverse groups. Officers have had to keep the peace on several occasions over the past few weeks. We continue to ask that all members of the public behave civilly and express themselves peacefully,” the statement read.
According to local news station KGET, the police said no physical fight was witnessed by the officers and no one on the scene was in need or requested emergency medical aid.
The police department announced that the two sides left the area after police managed to separate them, however, they added that criminal offenses may have taken place before officers arrived, but didn’t say by which group. Additionally, BPD said it has identified most of the people involved and will proceed with the rest of the pending investigation.
“The investigation will include reviewing the totality of unedited video evidence, including social media, business surveillance and body cameras,” a police official told KGET.
With the stress of election week, BPD said it understands "the public’s frustration" and will commit to "providing fair and impartial service to our community.”
Once the investigation has concluded, Bakersfield police said they will send its findings to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office for review, KGET reports.