Officers cleared in Sheraton Hotel shootout

Officers cleared in Sheraton Hotel shootout

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Bakersfield police on Thursday announced a review board ruling made more than two weeks ago regarding the officer-involved shooting at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel on California Avenue.

Justin Harger and Jorge Ramirez were killed in the September shootout.

Police got information that 32-year-old Harger, a parolee wanted by local law enforcement and the U.S. Marshals Service, would be at the hotel. Officers conducted surveillance in the area, saw Harger's vehicle arrive in the hotel parking lot, and officers conducted a traffic stop. Harger and his passenger, 34-year-old Ramirez, "immediately exited their vehicle and Harger opened fire on the officers and officers returned fire," police said at the time via a news release.

Thursday, police said a department review board determined Dec. 23 that all shots fired by officers that night were within department policy and state and federal guidelines. All of the officers have been returned to duty.

Ramirez was working as a police informant, assisting police in arresting Harger. Police Chief Greg Williamson said in October that Ramirez didn't give officers the information they needed the night of the shooting.

Ramirez didn't tell the officers who was driving, he didn't tell officers Harger was armed, and he didn't tell officers Harger was in disguise, according to the police chief.

Ramirez's family has filed claims against the city. Each of the claims say police violated Ramirez's "constitutional rights and liberties" and used "unnecessary force" during the shooting.

Mark Geragos, attorney for the Ramirez Family, issued the following response Friday to the police ruling on the shooting: "This is an outrage. This was not even a remotely independent investigation. The uncontroverted evidence has been ignored or covered up."