Black Teen Girl Beaten By Cops, Attacked By K-9 in ‘Mistaken Identity’

After being attacked by cops and a dog who were looking for a large male suspect, Tatyana Hargrove was then arrested for assaulting a police officer.

SCREENGRAB VIA NAACP BAKERSFIELD VIDEO

Black teenager Tatyana Hargrove says she was beaten by police and attacked by a K-9 dog after pausing a bike ride to take a drink of water on a 103 degree day in Bakersfield, Calif.

Police were searching for a suspect who had threatened patrons at grocery store with a machete when they came across Hargrove. The man they were searching for stood 5’10”, weighed 170 pounds and was male.

In very sharp contrast, Hargrove is 19, female, about 115 pounds and 5’2”, and she was unarmed at the time of the attack.

The incident happened on June 18 but has recently picked up steam after the Bakersfield chapter of the NAACP posted a video of Hargrove recounting the incident to its Facebook page.

Hargrove was on her way home from a store to get her dad a Father’s Day gift. She never made it into the store because it was closed. While riding back, she stopped to drink some water.

 

“And then I turned around, and there were three cop cars. And one of the officers already had a gun drawn on me,” she recalled.

The video shows close-ups of abrasions on Hargrove’s body, including her cheek and her head, as well as cuts on her leg.

“I turned to another office who was in front of me, Officer Vasquez, and I told him, I said, ‘Sir, what’s going on?’ and then he was like, ‘Give me the backpack,’ and I was like, ‘Do you have a warrant?’”

Hargrove then noticed a large K-9 dog standing behind her. Frightened, Hargrove freely offered the backpack to the officers.

“And then after that, he grabbed me by my wrist, like this,” she said, demonstrating, “and then he grabbed me by my neck, punched me, and then he threw me onto the ground. And then that’s when the K-9 came and started eating at my leg.”

At one point an officer put his knee in Hargrove’s back and his other knee on her head.

“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.”

According to police documents obtained by the Washington Post, Hargrove was arrested and charged with resisting or delaying an officer and aggravated assault on an officer.

Hargrove was taken to the hospital before she was booked into jail. She spent more than half a day there before her parents came to bail her out.

In the police report Officer Christopher Moore, the arresting officer, wrote:

“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.”

No weapons were found in Hargrove’s backpack — or in her possession at all at the time of the incident.

Moore also alleged that he did not know Hargrove was a female until she was in the cop car and provided her name.

“Hargrove said, ‘I’m a girl, I just don’t dress like one,’” according to Moore. “This was when I first discovered she was a female.”

But in Hargrove’s account of the story, at least one unidentified person appeared to realize they had the wrong person.

“On my way, going back to the car, I heard somebody say, ‘That’s not the guy, that’s not the guy,’” Hargrove said.

Hargrove’s parents were also interviewed for the video but were not identified by name. Her father recounted Hargrove’s phone call from the hospital.

“The officer got on the phone, and I asked him what happened, and he told me that it was mistaken identity, and I’m like, ‘Wow,’” he said. “I’m like, you know, is she okay? And he was like ‘Well, she’s alive, and she’s in the hospital.’”

The police report states that Hargrove attacked an officer, a claim she denies.

“There were dogs and guns drawn on me. Like, I would never do anything like that,” Hargrove said.

Her father also pointed out the absurdity of the claim.

“They would say that my daughter attacked them? Come on. She’s 5’2”, 115 pounds soaking wet, and that she attacked a 200 pound man?” he questioned.

Bakersfield Police Department Sgt. Ryan Kroeker originally reported to Bakersfield.com that the use of force during the arrest was appropriate. But, according to KGET, the Bakersfield Police Department announced on Wednesday that it plans to conduct an internal review of the incident.

The Bakersfield chapter of the NAACP is holding a fundraiser for Hargrove and is hosting a rally on Thursday evening. At the time of this report the campaign currently has over $2,600 and a goal of $10,000.

A Change.org petition has also been launched, calling on the officers to be put on leave and have criminal charges filed against them. At the time of this report the petition has over 6,800 signers — just a few hundred shy of its 7,500 goal.

While the officers insist that the incident was simply mistaken identity, research suggests that Black girls are often viewed as less innocent than white girls. A recently released report found that Black girls are perceived as stoic, in need of less nurturing and knowing more about sexual relations than white girls.

For the study, “Girl Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood,” published by Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality, the periods of childhood and adolescence were divided into four age brackets: 0–4, 5–9, 10–14 and 15–19 years old. Across all age ranges, participants had an implicit bias against Black girls, collectively viewing them as more adult-like than white girls.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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31 comments


  • “While the officers insist that the incident was simply mistaken identity”

    Are the officers in this city vision impaired? For that matter, honestly, do they go off half cocked all the time like this? What did they do, attack the first black person they met?

    “Bakersfield Police Department Sgt. Ryan Kroeker originally reported to Bakersfield.com that the use of force during the arrest was appropriate. But, according to KGET, the Bakersfield Police Department announced on Wednesday that it plans to conduct an internal review of the incident.”

    It is insane that the reflexive response from police departments when something like this happens is still to declare the use of force to be appropriate. It only reduces respect for LEOs and makes the whole force look dishonest.

    • It’s got to be an amalgamation of fear, sadism, dishonesty and narcissism. Cop mortality is far lower than infant mortality, it’s not a very dangerous job – so beating the crap out of a petite young woman, or firing seven times into a car with a little girl in the back seat – for whatever reason, is simply crazy.

  • 5’10” 170 lbs. vs.. 5’2″ 115 lbs.- and this was mistaken identity?? What possible reason could the cops have had to treat her like this? There’s absolutely no way they could have believed she was the guy they were looking for. Were they just out looking for somebody to abuse that afternoon? Considering all the news showing how cops treat Black men, this girl had to have been absolutely terrified. I can’t believe the cops are even making an attempt to lie their way out of it to cover up their mistake. They should just own up to it – there’s no way they can explain it or justify it. My heart aches for this girl and her parents.

  • The use of force of any kind was totally inappropriate since she is FEMALE. The pursuit to make her be a suspect was the main goal in my opinion, this has to stop! It’s sickening, disheartening and sad!

    • VEE HARRIS–You are having a MASSIVE LOGIC LAPSE.
      We do not use the “L-word” (logic) in these matters.

      1. Please review your MANUAL OF MELANIN-DRENCHED SUSPECTS.
      It clearly states in Article 1: “All people whose DNA endowed them
      with Rich Melanin Deposits are GUILTY OF ALL CRIMES UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT.”

      2. Roughly 40 per cent of America is DANGEROUS, including suspects who are
      Melanin-Enriched. They are ALWAYS guilty, even when they’re not guilty.

      3. Please review your Formula For Dangerous Suspects, found in
      Chapter 2 of the MANUAL FOR MELANIN-DRENCHED SUSPECTS.

      4. Tatyana Hargrove is GUILTY OF CRIME because she has these
      Important Criminal Characteristics: Cocoa Brown Skin; African Hair;
      African Facial Architecture; A Bicycle. Black people are NOT supposed
      to ride bicycles. Therefore, SHE IS GUILTY OF ROBBING THE STORE.

      Please review your MANUAL FOR MELANIN-DRENCHED SUSPECTS.

    • I agree. To victimize her once is bad enough but to make her a suspect is outrageous. I hope she has a good lawyer and I hope those yahoo LEOs are fired. They don’t deserve to employed as cops is they can’t tell the difference between height and gender. When will this s**t stop!!! BLM

  • Gee, this takes “they all look alike” to a whole new — even more ridiculous — level. Of course, the officers — the dog, too — will all invoke the magic mantra: “I was in fear for my life.” God, I hope some video exists of this incident.

    • GRANNYBUNNY–Young black women on bikes with water bottles
      and backpacks are soooo DANGEROUS, you know! Especially
      when they stop on hot days to drink water….real GANGSTA STUFF, YO!

  • “The man they were searching for stood 5’10”, weighed 170 pounds and was male. In very sharp contrast, Hargrove is 19, female, about 115 pounds and 5’2”,”

    Yep, they can pass for twins :-(

    • JANICE J.–We all look alike, you know. Even though we African-Americans have:

      1. Black, brown, light brown, amber, hazel, green, grey and blue eyes;
      2. Every hair texture from super-stiff lamb’s wool to wavy to corkscrew to crinkly super-silky straight;
      3. Every hair color from black to blonde–including all colors known to Clairol, Loreal,
      Schwarzkopf, Belle Garnier and those blended by beauticians;
      4. Skin tones ranging from black to pale pink;
      5. Mesomorph, endomorph and ectomorph body types, and every type in between;
      6. A variety of head shapes and diverse facial architecture;

      Be assured, we are UNI-GENDERED and, even in the HARSH, BLINDING LIGHT
      OF THE DESERT SUN IN THE DAY, WE ALL LOOK ALIKE.

    • Only in the eyes of aggressive policing of the Black community can a short African-American female fit the description of a tall African-American tall male. Do these idiots even think before acting? Just how stupid are they? With all that’s been reported in the news lately, are they even aware of how they are perceived? This crap is unreal and should be covered is the media more so people can see just what we’re up against. If this were happening to non-African Americans we’d see more immediate remediation. BLM

    • Tendai N Phiri

      The man was also bald and she was not. Another article said the cop thought she was going to flee because she put her foot on her bicycle pedal! Can you believe it? She shifted her position but they thought she was trying to flee. Also, this article said the cops pointed to their dog when she asked if they had a warrant. They are bullies and of course they investigated themselves and called it justified.

  • Karl Strandberg

    I don’t believe this was a case of ‘implicit bias’. I believe that it is a case of racism, on the part of the Bakersfield policemen, and an incident during which ‘excessive use of force’ was exhibited. Bad!

    • KARL–There will be an EXPLICIT LAWSUIT with some EXPLICIT CASH paid out
      to this young woman and her family. Their prayers are answered: She CAN go
      to college and pursue her dreams, PLUS pay off her family’s bills AND have
      enough left over for her GAP YEAR IN OSAKA and her INTERNSHIP IN TOKYO.
      You can do that with EXPLICIT LAWSUIT PAYOUTS.

    • IProtest–Yup–we’re suspects FROM THE CRADLE TO THE GRAVE.
      Even our pre-school girls are “more stoic” and “more adult.”
      The more melanin we have, the more we scare law enforcement.
      (Size, age, weight and gender are NON-FACTORS.)

      The FORMULA FOR FRIGHT:
      Brown Skin + African Hair + African Facial Features=DANGEROUS SUSPECT.

      1. ADD 50 more Dangerous Points for these skin tones: black, jet, obsidian, ebony, mahogany, raisin, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Oreo cookie chocolate, cocoa, mocha, chestnut, grizzly bear brown, mink brown, beaver brown, fisher brown, brazil nut brown, walnut brown, coffee (no sugar, no cream).

      2. SUBTRACT 50 Dangerous Points for these skin tones: tan, toffee, honey almond, coffee-with-cream (sugar is optional), mocha light, caramel, reddish-brown, burnt siena, cafe au lait, cinnamon, cashew, cream, ivory, ecru, eggshell, beige, white chocolate, peppermint bark, apricot, peach, somewhat yellowish-pink, salmon, pink, off-white, light-bright-almost-white, white, pink-white, alabaster.

      3. NEW CRIME CATEGORIES:

      A. Riding A Bicycle While Black (RABWB).
      B. Drinking Water While Black (DWWB).
      C. Minding Your Own Business While Black (MYOBWB).
      D. Attempting To Shop For Father’s Day Gifts While Black (ATSFFDGWB).

      Never a dull moment, if you’re born BIA–Black In America!

  • An entire profession gets away with murder, on a consistent basis or any crime against people of color – their crimes have become the norm. For someone who has lost a child to police brutality & the police use of excessive force; I am brought to tears just thinking how this could have turned out. I am also angry! The ONLY thing these cops saw was someone BLACK! Police officers have the inability to simply admit that they were wrong and that they are bias and racist.

    In the rural parts of PA in the past few days a killer among them admitted that he had killed the 4 white boys that were missing. We won’t even talk about his criminal record or the fact that he has multiple encounters with the law enforcement; involuntarily committed to a mental hospital; nor his desire to kill. Yet, he wasn’t harmed at all. But he was white and therefore he gets a pass. The country has gone nuts!

      • LUKE–I can’t forget the cruel judge at the prison, who LITERALLY YELLED AT the FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE VICTIMS, harshly scolding THEM how they “ought to remember that the killer’s family ARE VICTIMS, TOO.”
        Absolutely HORRID….

  • This is horrifying and sickening. And as bad as it is, it could have been so much worse – in fact she’s “lucky” to be alive – because Bakersfield, and Kern County more generally, is the deadliest place for police shootings in the country. Yes, you read right, the deadliest (and not just Black folks, they seem to be “equal opportunity” murderers).

    The Guardian did a 5 part series on killings by law enforcement in Bakersfield and Kern County:
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/01/the-county-kern-county-deadliest-police-killings

  • The ONLY reason the police should have stopped her would be to ask – “Hey – did you see a 5’10” 170ish pound male go running by here? He was reported brandishing a machete in the local store over there. We want to capture him before he hurts someone.”

    • LHoughton, that would have required them to think, treat her with respect (vs suspect) and see her as a human being who’s innocent unless proven otherwise. None of that happened here. Contrast this encounter with Dylan Roof who had no bruises, was not punched in the face, no knees in his back, etc and he killed 9 people!! Ms. Hargrove is lucky to still be alive to tell her story. BLM

  • Another case of dumb racist KKKops gone wild! These ignorant KKKops are the reason counties spend millions of taxpayers dollars defending stupid, racist and piggish behavior.

    Anyone who thinks Black girls are less innocent haven’t seen [white] Girls Gone Wild– they don’t have to be drunk. One of the main reasons perverted men desire them more is because they would f*ck a dog (or any animal) if it pleases their men.

    As a Black woman who grew up in the ‘hood, under racist segregated white oppression, we had no choice but to be tough or get preyed upon. White women, in their suburbs of choice are tougher and even less humane. Growing up around poverty makes Black women, except those in the dirty South, more empathetic.

    Great lawsuit for this No Black family. Her college tuition will be paid in full because of dumb KKKops.

    • “Growing up around poverty makes Black women, except those in the dirty South, more empathetic.” What happened to you?

      • I’m with you, grannybunny, since I’m a black woman in the “dirty South” and I want clarification.

  • I don’t care what color she is. This is a small child 115 lb. I’m 6 foot and weigh 210 lb. my daughter is 5ft 110. I tower over her. She minding her business and this happens. I am the first one to walk away from a fight and I am strongly against violence. I am father And in this case they would have had to bail me out also. This is so wrong.
    God bless all

  • Things like this happens far too often to young black women, and their mothers have a hard time trying to tell them how to protect themselves when accosted by police. Others have commented on a big settlement. There’s not enough money to compensate for this, and remember her being young and black subtracts from the calculation of making her whole. “Mistaken identity”, broken taillights, running red stops, jaywalking — the excuses just pile up as reasons for stopping, questioning, and assaulting these kids.

  • Patrice Bowles

    This is all so crazy. If the officers had approached her more like she was a person, it would not have mattered if she was a male or female. The corrupt officers always take a hard nose authoritative approach and race is always the center of their actions. BTW, the research is bogus. White girls are the ones that gets their way, starts drinking and smoking as teenagers and think they are grown prematurely. They kick and fuss when they don’t get their way; car at 16, spring break trips out the country with friends, and scream “I hate you, I hate you” when they are not in charge.

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