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Bakersfield settles lawsuit over traffic stop arrest

May 7, 2019

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — The city of Bakersfield has agreed to $60,000 settlement of a lawsuit by a black man who was arrested after refusing to answer questions when the vehicle he was riding in was pulled over by police.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Bakersfield resident Robert Mitchell by the American Civil Liberties Union Foundations of Southern and Northern California.

The suit claimed that in March 2017, Mitchell was riding in a car with three other black people when police used trivial reasons including air fresheners hanging from the rearview mirror as a pretext for a traffic stop.

The suit said Mitchell was jailed for 12 hours but was never charged with a crime.

City Attorney Ginny Gennaro told The Bakersfield Californian on Monday there was no admission of liability.

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