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By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian
By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
The high-profile Los Angeles attorney representing the family of a police informant fatally shot by Bakersfield officers expressed "outrage" Friday that a review board found the shooting within guidelines.
"This is an outrage," attorney Mark Geragos, who represents the family of Jorge Ramirez, said in a statement. "This was not even a remotely independent investigation. The uncontroverted evidence has been ignored or covered up."
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- Legal claim filed in police shooting of informant
- More than a celebrity lawyer, Mark Geragos takes Bakersfield case
- LOIS HENRY: Many questions remain after Sheraton shootout
- Attorney demands independent investigation into shooting of police informant
- One of two men killed in shootout with police was an informant
- Police say suspect fired at officers during traffic stop that led to two deaths
- Shootout leaves 2 dead, 2 officers injured in hotel parking lot
A Bakersfield Police Department review board determined that all shots fired by officers in the September incident that killed two men -- including Ramirez -- were within department and state and federal guidelines, it was announced Thursday.
Police said officers Rick Wimbish, Daniel Brewer, Jess Beagley, Ryan Vaughan and Chad Garrett have returned to duty following the Dec. 23 board ruling. Police Chief Greg Williamson was unavailable for comment Thursday, the day the findings were released.
The Sept. 16 shootings of Ramirez and wanted criminal Justin Bryan Harger gained considerable attention after it was revealed that Ramirez had been acting as a police informant. Police said Ramirez contacted them that evening and said he would lead officers to Harger's location.
Harger, 32, and Ramirez, 34, knew each other and spent part of the evening together. Police said Ramirez failed to provide officers with key information, including that Harger was armed with a handgun and was wearing a wig.
Ramirez also gave inaccurate information about the type of vehicle he and Harger were traveling in. Police drove to three locations that night trying to meet with Harger and Ramirez, finally catching up to their SUV after midnight in the parking lot of the Four Points Sheraton at 5101 California Ave.
Ramirez got out of the front passenger side of the SUV. Police said he refused officers' demands to get back in.
Ramirez turned as officers approached, and at that point one of the officers was shot in the face. Police said both Harger and Ramirez were killed in the ensuing gunfight.
The injured officer was released from the hospital later that morning.
Attorney Geragos filed a claim Dec. 13 against the city of Bakersfield. Damages or injuries listed on the claim include violation of civil and constitutional rights, and wrongful death.