The Bakersfield Police Department said the man fatally shot last weekend by an officer appeared to have a rifle, which turned out to be a car jack.
Jason Lee Alderman, 29, was shot to death by an officer at a Subway restaurant.
According to the department, a two-officer patrol unit heard breaking glass during an unrelated investigation.
The broken glass was from the front door of the Subway, and a white BMW was backed up to the restaurant.
According to police, Alderman was seen behind the counter of the restaurant with something covering his head.
The police department said Alderman refused several orders to “drop the gun,”.
Alderman “raised the object in the direction of the officers,” and officer Chad Garrett shot him.
Garrett is on paid vacation while the use-of-force is being reviewed.
The family of Alderman has retained the services of a high-profile Los Angeles attorney, Mark Geragos, who said in a news release on Tuesday that the officer’s use of force was “unnecessary and unlawful.”
Geragos is accusing Bakersfield police of a cover-up in Alderman’s shooting.
Geragos says Chad Garret, the officer that shot and killed Jason Alderman, was also involved in the shooting death of a BPD informant in 2013.
Jorge Ramirez, working as a police informant, was shot and killed by Bakersfield police during a traffic stop.
Ramirez was with the person he was helping BPD capture.
Geragos also represents the Ramirez family, as well as the family of James De La Rosa, who was killed by BPD in 2014.
The tragic death of Jason Alderman has followed the BPD script of disparagement of their victims, conflicting portrayals of what occurred, and BPD playing fast and loose with the evidence,” Geragos said in a statement.
According to Geragos, the Alderman family was told by the Sheriff’s Department that Jason was shot because he had his hands in his waistband.
They were also told that no other officers witnessed the shooting, and that there wasn’t any video footage.
“BPDs current version of the facts is at odds with what was originally told. Employees at the location state that, contrary to what BPD has stated, the video surveillance was rolling and captured the incident but that BPD immediately confiscated the footage,” Geragos said.
The Geragos firm says they have begun their own investigation and ask anyone with information to call the firm at 213.625.3900.
Supporters of the family are hosting a car wash to raise funds for Jason Alderman’s funeral expenses this Saturday, August 29th. Join the event page on Facebook.