On Wednesday, June 3, Robert Forbes was hit by a car while participating in a peaceful protest in Bakersfield, CA. He tragically succumbed to his injuries and passed away over the weekend.
According to IBEW 1245 member Brian Huffman, who is Forbes’ nephew, his uncle wasn’t usually the type of person to participate in a protest – but the murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests prompted him to get involved.
“I didn’t expect him to be out there on his own,” Huffman said. “He was trying to get some type of change … And that’s the memory that I’ll always have of him.”
According to Huffman, the police on the scene quickly labeled the collision an accident and refused to bring the driver in for questioning, or take any statements from the witnesses, and according to media reports, the officers said that the driver would not be arrested or charged. However, a number of other protestors who saw the accident happen report that the driver was accelerating at the time of the crash, and his actions appeared to have been intentional.
After a major outcry on social media, the Bakersfield police announced that are investigating the accident – but questions remain regarding the conduct of the police in the aftermath of the collision.
Brother Huffman and his family are still fighting for justice for Robert Forbes, and they are urging supporters to contact the Bakersfield Police (661) 327-7111 and the District Attorney’s office (661) 868-7603 to advocate for a full and thorough investigation into the accident.
For those who wish to assist the family with medical bills and funeral expenses, a GoFundMe has been set up at https://gf.me/u/x7gfc8.