A female teenager in Bakersfield, California was severely beaten and injured by police who mistook her for a male suspect in June 2017. The police not only physically assaulted the young African American woman, but allowed their police dog to bite her, as well. If ever there was a need for a severe injury attorney, this was the time!
The police were on the lookout for an African American suspect who had reportedly been in a supermarket with a machete threatening customers and workers. The suspect was thought to be a 30-year-old male, but police attacked 19-year-old Tatyana Hargrove instead. The teenager, who was cycling home after buying a Father’s Day gift for her dad, had stopped to take a drink of water from her water bottle. Suddenly, she saw three police cars pull up and an officer emerge from his car with a weapon drawn.
The police demanded Hargrove take off her backpack, which she did, and immediately after removing it, an officer grabbed and punched her in the face. As the police threw Hargrove around like a ragdoll, witnesses screamed “that’s not the guy,” in reference to the police arresting the wrong person. It’s important to note here that a severe injury attorney would use all of these facts, including the witness statements, to show significant wrongdoing and maximize the victims claim.
Why was she Pulled Over?
The police officer’s account was much different than the young woman’s story. The police explained that Hargrove would not comply when asked to stop. One officer’s report stated that when he took Hargrove by the wrist, he fell with her on top of him. They struggled and he punched her to get Hargrove off of him.
Hargrove received numerous injuries from the altercation and needed paramedics to attend to her following the arrest. According to the LA Times, witnessed continued to tell police that she was not the suspect the entire time the physical altercation was happening. The officers in question have been placed on leave.
Hargrove was arrested due to resisting arrest, despite not being the original suspect. Unfortunately for the teenager, a lawsuit against the police department will be difficult to win. States tend to stand behind their police officials, therefore, winning a wrongful arrest lawsuit could be tough.
Her lawyers would need to show that the police did not have probable cause to arrest her. This could happen, as witnesses repeatedly told police she was not the suspect. In fact, Hargrove not only looked nothing like the suspect, but she is not even male. Hargrove may be able to file a lawsuit for excessive force and harassment by the arresting officers.
The NAACP of Bakersfield is now involved in the case, and hopes to get all charges against Hargrove dropped. In the end, she was injured due to poor police work and mistaken identity. An experienced severe injury attorney at Flahavan Law Offices would take on the police department and get justice on behalf of this victim.
Flahavan Law Offices
If you or a loved one have experienced an injury, contact Flahavan Law Offices. Flahavan Law Offices specializes in personal injury law and can give you advice to help you achieve the compensation you deserve. Please contact us directly. Flahavan Law Offices is here to help with all your personal injury law needs.