BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Bakersfield Police are making national news headlines again, after a local NAACP video went viral. It's the story of Tatyana Hargrove, who says she was beaten by officers and attacked by their police dog in a case of mistaken identity.
The Facebook video made by the NAACP has been viewed over five million times. Meanwhile-Bakersfield Police sent out their account in a 19 page police report.
Everyone agrees that Tatyana was mistaken for a man, suspected of a crime she's completely unrelated to, and that the incident involved physical force-but how it escalated to that point is in dispute.
At 5 feet two inches tall and 115 pounds, Tatyana Hargrove gives her account of what happened when she encountered two BPD officers on Fathers Day last month: "I told him, I said sir what's going on? And then he was like, give me the backpack and then I was like, do you have a warrant? And then he pointed behind me and he said look. And I looked behind me and it was a big K-9 dog. And then, I then got scared and then I was like, here just take the backpack and then after that he grabbed me by my wrist like this, then he grabbed me by my neck, punched me, and then he threw me on to the ground and that's when the K-9 came and started eating at my leg."
In a 19 page report, Officer Christopher Moore describes his search for a machete brandishing man described as witnesses as being a black male, 25-30 years old, about 6 ft and 160 pounds. The suspect was described as wearing a white t-shirt, jeans, and having a red duffel bag and black backpack.
He says Hargrove matched the description-mostly with clothing-and was in the same apartment complex the suspect fled to. Though their wording is different, both Hargrove and the officers describe her resistance to comply with orders until she saw the police dog.
However, police reports say Senior Officer Vasquez approached Hargrove to "gain control of her", during which they both fell over, resulting in Officer Vasquez getting tangled in the bike chain. Reports say at that point got on top of the officer in "a mounting position." Police say that's when Officer Vasquez, thinking Hargrove was a man, punched her, to get her off of him.
Reports say Hargrove assaulted Officer Vasquez, which is why the K-9 was released on her and both officers used physical force to get her into custody. In the report Moore says "[Hargrove] now was assaulting Senior Officer Vasquez. She had Senior Officer Vasquez in a dangerous position where she would be able to access any additional weapons on her person or in her backpack. I knew she had yet to be searched for weapons and the location of the machete was unknown to me."
Reports say they didn't find any weapons on the teen. Tatyana Hargrove says officers never explained why they were questioning her. In the police report, officers say they explained when they first encountered her, that she matched a male suspect's description.
Officers also say they didn't know she was female until after they apprehended her.
Hargrove's mother says her daughter will never be the same after what happened: "She's now a total different person, she's afraid to be alone...what they did to my happy, loving daughter, they took away her light."
"We live in a community and we respect what the community wants and thinks about the police department", says Sergeant Ryan Kroeker. Kroeker says there will be an internal affairs investigation into the incident as an effort to show the community that they want to be as open and honest as possible about what happened.
Tatyana Hargrove was arrested at the hospital after being treated for her injuries. The teen, who has no prior criminal record, is facing five misdemeanor charges-including assault on a peace officer. Her family says their number one priority is getting those charges dropped. Meanwhile-suspect whom Hargrove was mistaken for, has been arrested.
A rally is being held tonight for Hargrove tonight at the Liberty Bell in front of the courthouse.