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The Region : U.S. Accuses Bakersfield Police of Bias

August 11, 1987

A federal investigation said the Bakersfield Police Department discriminates against women and that a climate of "racial animosity" exists on the Kern County Sheriff's Department staff. Federal Treasury Department investigator Hilda Sawyer said the police agility test for new recruits discriminates against women and the department discriminated against its only woman investigator by placing her in a dead-end job. Also, an "environment of racial animosity" exists in the Sheriff's Department, Sawyer wrote in a separate investigation. Her study was prompted by complaints from black Deputies Alvin McClellan and Wayne Burris and from Sgt. Marvin Oliver. The federal report was obtained by the Bakersfield Californian newspaper through the federal Freedom of Information Act. City and county officials have declined comment on the report.

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