A 5’2, 115-pound teenage girl in California was punched in the mouth by police, bitten by a K9 and arrested last month after she was mistaken for a machete-wielding 5’11, 180-pound bald man with a goatee.
The NAACP's Bakersfield chapter released a Facebook video Monday morning calling the incident racially motivated. In it, Tatyana Hargrove, 19, described the events that took place. She says she was walking home after shopping for a Father’s Day gift. She was then approached by an officer who drew his gun as soon as he got out of his patrol car.
“He [the officer] put his other knee on my head, and I told him, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’ and I started yelling out: 'Somebody help me, somebody help me, they’re going to kill me,’” Hargrove said in the video.
After the incident, Hargrove had to be hospitalized for the injuries she allegedly sustained from police and the K-9, which bit her.
Christopher Moore said in a police report that he didn’t know Hargrove was a woman until after she was handcuffed. In his report, he claimed Hargrove had “spun into” one of the officers with her left shoulder, causing him to fall backward.
“At this time I was forced to quickly consider the following; [Hargrove] matched the description of the suspect that had brandished a machete, her backpack was within her arm’s reach and the main compartment was unzipped allowing her immediate access to the machete,” Moore wrote. He then decided to unleash the police K-9.
After her hospitalization, Hargrove was detained for 16 hours before being bailed out by her parents, according to the NAACP.
“Why should my daughter be charged with a crime? ” Hargrove’s father said in the video. “She was coming home to celebrate Father’s Day with me. It’s not right. It’s not right.”