As a documentary series that delves deep into the alleged corruption, cover-ups, and crimes within the Bakersfield Police Department over the years, Hulu’s ‘Killing County’ is unlike any other. That’s because it comprises not only archival footage but also first-hand accounts of individuals closest to the matter to truly uncover this Californian city’s merciless, violence-driven justice system. Amongst those to feature in this three-part original is law enforcement official turned convicted felon Damacio Diaz — so now, if you wish to learn more about him, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Damacio Diaz?
It was back in 1987 when Damacio Diaz inadvertently became a local celebrity of sorts owing to the way he built McFarland High School’s winning cross-country dynasty alongside his two brothers. The trio honestly had an unwavering determination in their efforts despite being mere teenagers at the time, and that’s what eventually inspired the 2015 Disney sports drama film ‘McFarland, USA.’ However, the former chose to pursue General Education as a field of study instead of focusing on his athleticism upon graduation because he apparently hoped to establish his career as a teacher.
Though according to Damacio’s own account in the Hulu production, his dreams and aspirations took a complete turn once he witnessed some adrenaline-pumping, actual police work first-hand. The student thus enrolled at California State University-Fresno while changing his major to Criminology as well as Military Science (1992-1996) before deciding to acquire training on the job. In other words, he joined the Tulare Police Department as a low-level officer in August 1996 just to work hard and be able to move on to Bakersfield as a detective precisely two years later.
It was at the Bakersfield Police Department that Damacio was able to rise the ranks in the way he’d always desired — going from patrol operations to serving at several high-profile units. Whether it be Burglary, Financial Crimes Detail, Homicide, Narcotics Investigations, Sexual Assault, Special Enforcement (Gang), or Vice, he worked in every department at one point or the other. Yet his desire to always be at the front and center of action soon reached such an extent that he started blurring the line between right and wrong, resulting in his arrest in November 2015.
Where is Damacio Diaz Now?
Damacio was actually indicted on 16 federal counts related to bribery, drug trafficking, and filing a false tax return on the grounds he resold a lot of the drugs he confiscated during his police work. He did submit every kind of narcotics to evidence following each bust. Still, it was rarely the entire quantity as he, his partner Patrick Mara, as well as an associate, reportedly had this combined side hustle. The former BPD official apparently knew what he was doing wasn’t right in any way, shape, or form, yet he couldn’t find a way out as there was no one he could approach for help, as per the docuseries.
Therefore, Damacio pleaded guilty to bribery, possession, attempted possession with the intent to distribute, and false income tax returns on May 31, 2016 — he’d resigned from BPD months prior. The former police officer was subsequently sentenced to five years in federal prison, just to be released days early from a halfway house in Sacramento, California, on May 8, 2020.
Since then, from what we can tell, the 50-year-old has chosen to retire and lead a comfortable yet quiet life in his home county of Kern; he hasn’t moved anywhere. Damacio seemingly prefers to stay well away from the spotlight these days, but we do know the family man tied the knot with his long-term partner, teacher Courtney Diaz, on January 26, 2021.
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