Lawyers file claim for woman who says she was mistaken for suspect, beaten by police

Tatyana Hargrove, who says officers used excessive force in dealing with her in June 2017 while mistaking her for a suspect, is seen at right next to her lawyer Aug. 30, 2017, in Bakersfield, Calif. Her lawyers are filing a legal claim against the city of Bakersfield. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

The young woman who has said she was the victim of police brutality and mistaken identity has enlisted attorneys to file a legal claim against the city of Bakersfield.

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

Hargrove said police used excessive force in dealing with her. Police claimed Hargrove disobeyed commands and was combative.

Police later caught the real suspect, who was male.

Law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles is representing Hargrove.

“What happened to Tatyana Hargrove is a serious injustice, but perhaps what is even more troubling is that this appears to be a pattern of conduct by the Bakersfield Police Department,” attorney Neil K. Gehlawat said in a news release. “This case is not just about obtaining justice for Tatyana, but about confronting these wider problems.”

The Kern County district attorney announced earlier this month that neither Hargrove nor the officers will face charges.

Police Chief Lyle Martin has apologized to Hargrove and her family, and Hargrove told Eyewitness News that she accepted the apology.

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 admitted in this case the officers did not communicate the situation well enough and, intentionally or not, escalated the situation.

The Police Department responded to the claim with a statement. It reads, "We are aware that a claim has been filed, and we anticipated that a claim would be filed."

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