Bakersfield activist Riddhi Patel released from jail, posted $500,000 bail

The social justice activist posted bail of $500,000 and will appear in court next week.

Bakersfield activist Riddhi Patel has been released from jail on $500,000 bail. 

Her release came the same day a Kern County judge reduced her bail to $500,000 from $1 million. 


The big picture: Patel, 28, faces 10 counts of threatening with intent to terrorize and eight counts of threatening state officials for threatening to murder members of the Bakersfield City Council last week. 

  • Jail records listed Patel as being in custody until Tuesday evening, meaning she posted the $500,000 bail. 
  • Judge David Wolf had reduced her bail in half earlier on Tuesday and set a number of conditions for her release. 
  • Patel had to turn over her passport, is not allowed to leave the state and had GPS monitoring placed on her. 
  • Patel pleaded not guilty to all charges last week. 

Driving the news: “I hope one day somebody brings the guillotine and kills all of you motherf___ers,” Patel said to the city council when urging them to support a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. 

  • Later, when discussing proposed security measures for city buildings, such as installing metal detectors, Patel threatened to murder the councilmembers. 
  • “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.”
  • Just a few days after making the threats and getting arrested the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment fired her from her job. 

Go deeper: While Patel has never gone so far as to publicly threaten to murder city officials, last Wednesday’s meeting was not the first time Patel has had public and aggressive interactions with the city council. 

  • Bakersfield Vice Mayor Andrae Gonzales spoke to CNN on Tuesday, saying he has known of Patel for quite some time and noted that she has used some “outlandish” language in the past. 
  • “Unfortunately I’ve also been out in public with friends – for example one time out for dinner with a friend, and Ms. Patel came to my table and cussed me out basically in front of the whole crowd,” Gonzales said. “This is someone who has demonstrated that type of behavior that we’ve all grown accustomed to, but never had she threatened, saying that she was going to go to our homes and murder us. That’s taking it to the next level and something that really is concerning.” 

What we’re watching: Patel will return to court on April 24 for a pre-preliminary hearing and a preliminary hearing on April 25. 

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