Indian American activist Riddhi Patel, charged with threatening to kill city officials, out on bail

Ritu Jha–

Indian American activist Riddhi Patel who was arrested and charged with threatening to kill Bakersfield City Council members and the mayor during a city council meeting, is out on bail. A Superior Court of California, County of Kern public information officer confirmed to indica, Patel is out on bail, and that her bail amount has been reduced.

A Kern County Superior Court judge Judge David Wolf on Tuesday, April 16 reduced the bail amount to half from the previously set $1 million. She pleaded not guilty to the charges. Patel, 28, threatened to murder eight members of the city council earlier this month. She was arrested for ‘terrorist threats’ and ‘threatening public officials’, and was charged with 10 counts of threatening with intent to terrorize and eight counts of threatening public officials is a resident of the city of Bakersfield in California. She has been asked to submit her passport and and not allowed to leave the state. She has been placed on GPS monitoring.

According to, Prosecutor Ken Russell asked the Judge not to grant bail and called her, an “extreme threat” to public safety, especially considering the targets of her comments.

However, her attorney, Deputy Public Defender Jacob Evans, won the argument in convincing Judge Wolf both in reducing bail and saying she has no prior criminal record and didn’t appear to own any firearms. Patel’s pre-preliminary hearing is set for April 24.

Patel, a Democrat, has run as a delegate from AD34. She calls herself a follower of Martin Luther King, Jr. In the city council meeting on April 10, Patel first expressed her voice as a pro-Palestine protestor and represented “United Front for Liberation”. During the meeting, when people were invited from the public to speak, Patel demanded the city to propose a ceasefire in Palestine. During her speech, Patel, mentioned placing the heads of city council members inside of a guillotine and cutting them off.

According to the court complaint document, Patel’s comments were alarming. She concluded her first speech and returned to her seat. She returned again a few minutes later, and persisted in her initial demand for a ceasefire in Palestine and concluded by saying” We’ll see you at your house, we’ll murder you.” This led to her arrest.

According to court documents, Patel’s act in the city council meeting was assumed credible. She has also been accused of prior encounters and creating disturbance with loud and aggressive behavior. Court documents state that Council members were shocked with Patel’s statements and they have been coming to city council meetings for years, but never heard anything like what Patel said. One of the councilmembers said he felt terrified when Patel said ‘we will be at your house and murder you.’

Patel, who was working as economic development coordinator at the Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment in Delano, California,  lost her job after the April 10 incident. She had protested in favor of Indian farmers during their year-long agitation in 2020-21. She, along with several California Democratic Party members, signed the petition in solidarity with Indian farmers and had condemned the three farm bills in 2021.

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