DA drops charges against woman who claims police brutality

Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green holds a news conference Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in Bakersfield, Calif., to announce she'll drop charges against Tatyana Hargrove, a woman who claims excessive force was used during her mistaken-identity arrest.

The Kern County district attorney has decided to drop charges against a woman who claims she was the victim of police brutality and mistaken identity.

The Hargrove family is relieved to have have the charges filed against Tatyana Hargrove dropped.

"It never should have happened," said Craig Reece, Hargrove's father. "Charges should have never been filed against her. We are happy and revealed they are dropped."

And while the Hargrove family is pleased with the district attorney's decision, they are not so thrilled the police officers will be facing no charges as well.

"The officer that committed this act needs to be prosecuted," said Patrick Jackson, the local chapter president of the NAACP.

Hargrove was detained in June while officers responded to a report of a person threatening people with a machete.

Hargrove claims she was mistaken for a suspect and police used excessive force in dealing with her. Police claim Hargrove disobeyed commands and was combative.

Police mistakenly took Hargrove, a woman, for the male suspect.

DA Lisa Green on Wednesday said officers understandably stopped Hargrove based on the very limited suspect description they had. Hargrove, according to Green, reasonably could've been mistaken for a man based on how she dressed.

The suspect reportedly had a backpack, and Hargrove wore a backpack. Green said officers at the time believed the machete might've been in the backpack.

“ police officers had the right to detain Ms. Hargrove,” Green said. She added that a more detailed description of the suspect wasn't made available to officers until about an hour after they contacted Hargrove.

Hargrove didn't immediately comply with the officers' commands, escalating the situation, Green said.

Hargrove was charged in early July with five misdemeanors related to allegedly resisting and assaulting the officers. Green said she determined a jury couldn't be convinced to convict Hargrove.

Green said Hargrove was clearly frightened and reacted poorly. Green also said the officers could've handled the situation better.

At one point, an officer released a K-9 on the reportedly combative Hargrove.

Police Chief Lyle Martin has apologized to Hargrove and her family. The police chief said stopping Hargrove was appropriate, stating the concern of public safety outweighs the rights of the public to go about their business. But, the chief did admit that in this case the officers did not communicate the situation well enough and, intentionally or not, escalated the situation.

The Bakersfield chapter of the NAACP has advocated for Hargrove in this case, posting a video of her claims that went viral.

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