Tags: tatyana hargrove | police | beating | mistaken | identity

Tatyana Hargrove, 19, Recounts Police Beating Over Mistaken Identity

By    |   Thursday, 13 Jul 2017 03:49 PM

A video of 19-year-old Tatyana Hargrove recounting the day she was punched by a police officer went viral this week after the Bakersfield, California, chapter of the NAACP shared the video on their Facebook page.

In the video, viewed more than 5 million times, Hargrove said she was riding her bike in search of a Father's Day present on June 18 when she stopped in the shade to take a drink of water.

She said she noticed three police cars and that one officer had his gun drawn toward her.

While speaking to the officers, Hargrove said one of them grabbed her wrist and neck, punched her, and threw her to the ground where a police K-9 attacked her.

Hargrove said an officer put his knee on her back and her head, making it hard to breathe.

"I told him ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’ and then I started yelling out, ‘Somebody help me, somebody help me! They’re gonna kill me!’” Hargrove said. “And then finally, he let me up, he tied my hands behind my back and then he tied my feet together and he threw me in the back of the car.”

Police later said the incident was a mistake and that the teenager was mistaken for an assault suspect described in a report as a bald, black male around 6 feet tall and 170 pounds.

The suspect reportedly had a machete and had threatened several people at a grocery story not far from where the incident with Hargrove occurred.

Christopher Moore, the officer who arrested Hargrove, wrote in his report that Hargrove appeared to match the description of the person he and the other officers were looking for. 

"She appeared to be a male and matched the description of the suspect that had brandished the machete and was also within the same complex the suspect had fled to,” Moore wrote.

“While Hargrove was in the backseat I asked what her name was and when she provided it as ‘Tatyana’ I said, ‘Don’t lie to me, that’s a girl’s name. What is your name?’” the police report stated. “Hargrove said, ‘I’m a girl, I just don’t dress like one.’ This was when I first discovered she was a female.”

Hargrove does not fit the description of the male suspect the police were looking for, her father noted in the video, stating she weighs 115 pounds "soaking wet" and stands only 5-foot-2.

Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin has opened an internal investigation into the matter. 

"The case was initially reviewed, however Chief Martin has been very open and transparent about building, maintaining and strengthening relationships within the community,” BPD Sgt. Ryan Kroeker said, Bakersfield.com reported. “That is why he ordered an internal investigation.”

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A video of 19-year-old Tatyana Hargrove recounting the day she was punched by a police officer went viral this week after the Bakersfield, California, chapter of the NAACP shared the video on their Facebook page.
tatyana hargrove, police, beating, mistaken, identity
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2017-49-13
Thursday, 13 Jul 2017 03:49 PM
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