California police beat 19yo black girl mistaken for machete-wielding adult male
Tatyana Hargrove, 19, claims she was confronted by police at gunpoint, punched in the mouth, bitten by a police dog and then arrested.
“He grabbed me by my wrist and then he grabbed me by my neck, punched me and then he threw me on the ground, and that’s when the K-9 came and started eating at my leg,” Hargrove said in a video account of the incident that has since been watched over five million times.
“Vasquez put his knee on my back and I told him I couldn’t breathe, and then he put his other knee on my head and I told him, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” said Hargrove.
Hargrove was cycling home from shopping for a Father’s Day present on June 19 when she stopped to take a drink. When she turned around she noticed three police cars and an officer with his “gun drawn” facing her.
Hargrove’s story gained attention this week after the Bakersfield NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) shared a video of her account on its Facebook page.
Police were looking for a suspect who had brandished a machete in a grocery store. Police described the suspect as a “BMA [Black Male Adult], 30 years old, 5’10, 160 lbs, shaved head, goatee, wearing baggy white T-shirt, and grey pants, transient in appearance.”
Hargrove is 5’2 ( 1.5 meters)and 115 lbs (52 kg).
According to officer Christopher Moore’s account, when police approached Hargrove they told her to put her hands in the air. Moore responded by saying, “‘What you all stopping another black person for? I’m out of here.’”
“She appeared to be a male and matched the description of the suspect that had brandished the machete,” Moore said, adding that he told Hargrove, “you matched the description of a guy that has a machete and just threatened people inside the store. Put your hands up and get off your bike.”
Hargrove was arrested for resisting or delaying an officer and aggravated assault on an officer. She was detained for 16 hours before being bailed out by her parents.