A black woman claims that she was confronted by California police officers at gunpoint, punched in the mouth, and bitten by a police dog after she was mistaken for a man suspected of threatening people with a machete.
In a video posted on Facebook Monday by the Bakersfield chapter of the NAACP, 19-year-old Tatyana Hargrove gave her account of the altercation with cops in Bakersfield, California. Hargrove can be seen with crutches, as well as having bites, bruises, scratches, and scrapes on her face and body.
According to the Washington Post, the incident began when Hargrove rode her bicycle to a nearby store to buy a Father’s Day gift but it was closed. While heading back home she stopped to drink some water that she had in her backpack, only to be confronted by a group of officers.
“And then I turned around and there were three cop cars and one of the officers already had a gun drawn at me,” Hargrove said.
From there, the officer demanded to search her backpack to which she asked if he had a warrant. She claims that the police then grabbed her by the wrist and neck, punched her and threw her to the ground, where she was bitten in the leg by a police dog. Another cop also allegedly put his knee on her back and another knee on her head.
Ultimately, she was arrested on suspicion of resisting or delaying an officer and aggravated assault on an officer, with the police report claiming that Hargrove knocked down an officer and got on top of him after trying to leave.
The cops had mistaken Hargrove for a man they were looking for who reportedly had threatened people with a machete at a store close by. However, the suspect was described as a 25 to 30-year-old bald man standing about 5-foot-10 and weighing about 170 pounds. Hargrove is 5-foot-2 and weighs 115 pounds, a noticeable difference from the suspect’s description.
But Christopher Moore, the officer who arrested Hargrove, said that 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,” and thought that she had a weapon in her bag.
“I’m a girl. I just don’t dress like one,” Hargrove said.
The suspected machete-wielder, Douglas Washington, 24, was arrested the next day and remained jailed.