A California teenager claims that she was assaulted by police and a police dog after being mistaken for a large, bald, black man.
In the video, Hargrove recalled how, on June 18, she was riding her bike on the way to get a gift for her father for Father’s Day. She stopped to get a drink of water from her backpack when three police cars approached. She claimed that one officer had his gun out as soon as he exited the vehicle.
The officers, Hargrove said, wanted to search her backpack, and she refused until they pointed out the police dog. She claimed that one of the officers then grabbed her by the wrist and neck, punched her, and threw her to the ground. Another officer pinned her with his knees as the K-9 officer attacked.
“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 in the video.
Police claimed that it was a case of mistaken identity and that they mistook Hargrove, who is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 115 pounds, for a man who is 5 feet 10 inches tall, weights 170 pounds, has a goatee, is bald, and was accused of threatening people with a machete.
According to a police report obtained by the Bakersfield Californian, arresting officer Christopher Moore said that he did not know Hargrove was a woman initially and did not believe her when he asked for her name after failing to do so before.
“Don’t lie to me, that’s a girl’s name. What is your name?” Moore asked.
“I’m a girl, I just don’t dress like one,” Hargrove said.
Hargrove was reportedly arrested on suspicion of resisting or delaying an officer and aggravated assault on an officer. The officers involved are not facing any charges, but the Kern County District Attorney’s office is now looking into the matter.