Police beat teenage girl they mistook for a grown male suspect
Police in Bakersfield, California are under fire because they not only beat a suspect and allowed a dog to attack them, but they had the wrong suspect to begin with.
Tatyana Hargrove, 19, was reportedly riding her bike around an apartment complex when she was approached by police officers, one of which approached and assaulted her, according to CNN.
“He grabbed me by my wrist like this, and then he grabbed me by my neck, punched me, and then threw me on the ground,” Hargrove says. “And then that’s when the K9 came and started eating at my leg.”
The worst part of this situation is that Hargrove was mistaken for a suspect who was 5’10”, weighed at least 160 pounds and had a shaved head and goatee. The teenager is only 5’2″ and weight around 120 pounds.
“I told him I couldn’t breathe,” she says. “Then he put his other knee in my head, and then I told him, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.'”
Somehow, she was charged with resisting or delaying an officer and aggravated assault on an officer because officers claimed she ended up on top of the officer “in a mounting position.”
While in the police car, Hargrove remembers one of the officers suspecting that they got the wrong person.
News of this story broke after Hargrove’s family contacted the local chapter of the NAACP. They didn’t file and official report because they feared no actions would be taken by the department.
“Our focus is for the charges against Tatyana to be dropped,” said Patrick Jackson, president of the NAACP Bakersfield Chapter. “In the past, we have not seen the police department do right by their own internal investigations, and so why waste our time and resources with them? We know we would get a better response by going public first.”
Petitions have since been started to support Hargrove, who is still staying out of the spotlight given her traumatic experience.