Activist who threatened to kill Bakersfield lawmakers has bail reduced to $500,000

The Bakersfield social justice activist will be under tight surveillance if she is released from jail.

Riddhi Patel, the Bakersfield social justice advocate who threatened to murder members of the Bakersfield City Council last week, had her bail reduced to $500,000 on Tuesday. 

Her bail had initially been set at $1 million on 10 counts of threatening with intent to terrorize and eight counts of threatening state officials. 


Driving the news: Patel appeared in court on Tuesday for a hearing on her bail. 

  • Her attorney, Public Defender Jacob Evans, argued that the bail should be reduced. 
  • Prosecutor Ken Russell argued for no bail since Patel poses an “extreme threat” to public safety. 

The big picture: Judge David Wolf called Patel’s comments “disappointing and disturbing,” but said he feels that they were made in the heat of the moment during the council meeting on April 10. 

  • Wolf reduced her bail to $500,000 and acknowledged that she does not have a criminal history and does not appear to own any firearms. 
  • If Patel posts bail and is released from jail, she will turn in her passport, be placed on GPS monitoring and will not be allowed to leave California. 
  • Patel will return to court on April 24 for a pre-preliminary hearing. 

The backstory: Last week Patel urged the Bakersfield City Council to pass a resolution calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war but did not find support on the dais. 

  • “I hope one day somebody brings the guillotine and kills all of you motherf___ers,” Patel said. 
  • She later addressed the council on a proposal to increase security measures at city buildings, such as installing metal detectors. 
  • “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.”
  • Following her arrest, Patel’s employer, the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment announced that it fired her. 
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