Bakersfield activist who threatened to murder City Council fired by nonprofit

Riddhi Patel threatened to murder the Bakersfield City Council last week for not supporting a cease-fire resolution in the Israel-Hamas war, which not only put her behind bars but also leaves her without a job.

The Bakersfield social justice activist who threatened to murder the Bakersfield City Council last week has lost her job. 

Sunday, the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment announced that it has terminated Riddhi Patel. 


The backstory: Last Wednesday Patel made national headlines by threatening the council over its inaction to call for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. 

  • “I don’t have faith that you’ll do this,” Patel said, calling on the council to ask for a cease-fire. “You guys are all horrible human beings, and Jesus probably would’ve killed you himself.” 
  • She continued, “I hope one day somebody brings the guillotine and kills all of you motherf___ers.” 
  • Later in the meeting when the council was discussing implementing new security measures to city buildings, including metal detectors, Patel complained that the council is criminalizing people. 
  • “Regardless of whether you elect people into office, they’ll backstab you,” Patel said. “They’ll let you die. And for that reason – you guys want to criminalize us with metal detectors, we’ll see you at your house. We’ll murder you.” 
  • Patel was arrested by Bakersfield police immediately following those comments and  booked into the pre-trial facility. 

State of play: Patel is being held in jail on $1 million bail for threatening with intent to terrorize and threatening state officials. 

  • Last Friday she pleaded not guilty to 18 felony counts in court and sobbed during her arraignment. 

Driving the news: The Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment announced Sunday that Patel has been fired because of her comments to the Bakersfield City Council. 

  • “We unequivocally condemn any threats of violence or unethical behavior,” the center posted on X. “CRPE has been committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity, professionalism, and respect in all our work and interactions for the past 35 years.” 
  • CRPE continued, “As a result of this incident, we made the decision to terminate Riddhi Patel. We recognize this is a difficult situation, and we are dedicated to handling it with the utmost care and sensitivity.” 
  • The center said it will continue its mission of advancing environmental justice and civil rights and remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering a culture of non-violence, inclusivity and respect. 

What we’re watching: Patel is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday at 10 a.m. for a hearing. 

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