And in Bakersfield, California, a 19-year-old African-American woman says she was beaten by officers and mauled by a police dog last month in a case of mistaken identity. In a video produced by the Bakersfield NAACP posted online this week, Tatyana Hargrove says she stopped for a drink of water near a grocery store when officers approached her and demanded she hand over her backpack. She says an officer named Vasquez arrived on the scene with a K9 police dog and attacked her. A warning to our viewers: Some of the images of Tatyana Hargrove’s injuries in this video are graphic.
Tatyana Hargrave: “He grabbed me by my wrist, like this, and then he grabbed me by my neck, punched me, and then he threw me onto the ground. And then that’s when the K9 came and started eating at my leg. They rolled me around. He put his—Officer Vasquez put his knee in my back, and I told him I couldn’t breathe. And then he put his knee, other knee, in my head, and 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 going to kill me!’”
Bakersfield Police called the incident a case of mistaken identity and launched an internal affairs investigation—but only after the NAACP video went viral online. At the time of the assault, officers were looking for a suspect described as a 30-year-old black man with a shaved head and goatee, 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds. Tatyana Hargrove is 19 years old, 5-foot-2, 115 pounds and a woman.